He was an All-State football player at Coffee High School in 1971, the highlight of a successful high school career. He played linebacker and tight end for the yellow jackets and earned three varsity letters. In addition to All-State, he was All-TVC in 1971 before receiving a scholarship from the University of Tennessee. He was selected in 2003 to the Coffee High All-Time Football Team. He also excelled in baseball, starting at catcher in 1969 and 1970 and at first base during his junior and senior seasons. He was selected to the East-West All-Star Game in his final two seasons, hitting over 400 both years. He was a three year letterman at Tennessee and started as a senior for the Volunteers, He was fifth on the team in defensive big plays and tackles.