David Palmer was before his time.
In today’s world of college football, seeing players playing multiple offensive positions has become the norm, but when Palmer was destroying SEC defenses in the early ‘90s, it was unheard of.
Palmer was a three-year star for Alabama from 1991-93 playing mainly receiver, but he was also a nightmare for opposing special team units as a return man and he was one of the first “wildcat” quarterbacks in college football.
“A lot of people come and talk to me and tell me I started a lot of the stuff you see in today’s game,” Palmer said. “Not just playing one position, but being able to show your abilities at multiple positions.”
Palmer was the first Alabama receiver to go over the 1,000-yard mark for a season and the first to get 61 catches in a season. He was a part of the 1992 national championship team and he was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1993, which at the time was the highest an Alabama player had finished in Heisman voting. In 1993, he was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
Saturday fans will get a chance to meet Palmer when he visits for the 2015 Northeast Alabama Hunting & Outdoor Expo at the Agribusiness Center in Rainsville.
“I’m very excited about coming to Rainsville,” Palmer said. “I have a few friends in the area around Scottsboro that I haven’t seen in a long time so I’m really excited to get a chance to come see them. I don’t get many chances to come to Northeast Alabama, but I love when I do.”
He will also be joined by other former Alabama stars like Marquis Maze and Eryk Anders.
Palmer spent seven years playing in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings. Today, he spends the majority of his time giving back to today’s youth.
He coaches high school football, works with children with Down Syndrome and also works football camps in the summer for at-risk kids.
Helping with football camps in the summer is something he really enjoys.
“We go in and teach kids the basic fundamentals of football,” Palmer said. “These days, the kids aren’t getting the basic fundamentals of football because they aren’t getting the proper teaching. Not a lot of former players have given back to the kids and someone that has never played football before is teaching them. We are just trying to give them an opportunity to learn and also tell them our story.”
Sharing his story with the kids and giving them advice he didn’t get is what he enjoys most about the camp.
“I think that’s a great advantage to the kids,” Palmer said. “We as players didn’t get that opportunity to hear about the process it takes to be a successful football player and also just to be successful in life because there’s life after football. We just try to give them some positive advice.”
The expo will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.