Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Bear Bryant’s death. I’ve always felt that, in a certain sense, when Bo Jackson went over the top, he effectively drove the final nail into Bryant’s coffin, so to speak — sounds crass, but if you accept the notion that Bryant was a dead-man walking without the fire of football to keep him warm (after predicting it’d take a week, he died 28 days after coaching his last game), and if, as John Forney claimed, Bryant was “exhausted and despondent” the Sunday after his last Iron Bowl, a game won by Bo Jackson, a recruit he couldn’t land, then it’s not that much of a stretch. Bryant’s retirement from coaching wasn’t reported until two weeks after the Auburn game. While his health factored significantly, in announcing his decision he cited his poor coaching throughout the ’82 regular season, which ended in three straight losses. The Iron Bowl was the capper. So basically, the events leading up to and hastening Bryant’s death were literally the end of one era and the start of another, which brings us to our question:
Can anyone tell me what two blue-chip recruits committed to Auburn the very day that Bear Bryant died? There were actually three, but I’m looking for the two big names.
I’ll think of some sort of prize and mail it to you. Or perhaps you’d rather simply settle for your name in the glorious lights of The War Eagle Reader? Totally your call. So c’mon, lets see some comments. Think dammit! These guys were big Auburn stars, and here’s a hint: the answer can be found in a story by Charles Hollis in the Jan. 27th, 1983 edition of The Birmingham News. Page 4-B.