Phil Savage speaks to Perdido Middle School students

Phil Savage, Gerri McDonald, Principal Phillip Stewart

Special to Atmore News

Mr. Phil Savage, current director of the Senior Bowl and Color Radio Analyst for the Alabama Crimson Tide, recently spoke to middle school students at Perdido School.

Mr. Savage was the guest of Gifted Education teacher Gerri McDonald who invited him to speak with students about his varied experiences in collegiate sports and the National Football League. He shared with the students the Four C’s – Coach-ability, Character, Competitiveness and Compassion – that scouts look for in athletes being considered for a chance in professional football.

“Of course these qualities are important no matter what career one chooses,” he said.

One of the more interesting facts students learned was the average number of years a professional football player plays – only three years! While they were impressed with a $2 million signing bonus that player might have received, they quickly learned that if that player was cut from the team after three years, it would not be enough for him to live on, considering they were only in their mid-twenties.

Mr. Savage also pointed out the statistics of how many high school football players play on a college level: 6 percent and of those, only about 1.5 percent make it to the pros. These statistics, he pointed out, support the fact that an education is critically important for all students.

After speaking with the students, Mr. Savage allowed time for questions, which ranged from “Who was the best recruit you ever scouted?” to “When you were General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, how many days did you work during a year?”

Once everyone’s questions were answered, the students had a chance to see one of the Alabama National Championship rings and a Vince Lombardi Trophy.