He was a four-sport letterman at Coffee High School during all four seasons, excelling in football, basketball, baseball and track. He obtained all-star status in football as an end, in basketball as a forward, and as a pitcher and first baseman in baseball. He attended New Mexico Military Institute where he became the school's most valuable athlete as a freshman, starring as a wide receiver in football, guard/forward in basketball and pitcher / first baseman in baseball. He was a Jr. College All-American as a sophomore, with 46 catches for 700 yards (a school record). He had 11 catches for 141 yards in a single game. He was later signed by the University of Alabama where he became the starting tight end in 1972 as a junior. He played for two SEC championship teams and was part of Alabama's 1973 national championship team.