The heat was grueling. The demands were tremendous. Then Giles Amos heard a voice from above.
The voice may not have been divine. More likely, it was Scott Cochran or another assistant coach — Amos didn’t settle the mystery. But it gave him a new nickname, one his teammates still use in a positive way.
“It was during the fourth quarter (drill) during conditioning,” Amos said on Tuesday. “I was running around a cone or something and all of a sudden I hear “Pick it up, Trailer Park Jesus!” I’m thinking “Trailer Park Jesus, that’s new.” But it just kind of stuck and now everyone goes with it, so I kind of like it.”
Amos isn’t irreverent about the name, inspired by his long hair and beard — he spoke repeatedly about being “blessed” during his media session. His reaction suits his personality.
“It doesn’t offend me at all,” he said. “I actually take it as a compliment. Everybody says I remind them of one of the ‘Trailer Park Boys’ (a Canadian mockumentary available on Netflix.) I’ve never really seen the show but they seem like a good group of guys, so you kind of go along with it.”
Amos’ more usual identity is as a hard-blocking tight end who has come all the way up the Alabama football food chain, working his way from a freshman with doubts and homesickness and reaching a pinnacle of sorts — a full scholarship awarded by Nick Saban a couple of weeks ago and a chance to see significant playing time when the Crimson Tide plays Duke on Saturday.
“It’s been really neat,” he said. “It’s kind of like living out of a dream. Honestly, I’ve never thought I’d be up here talking to you (media) guys. But when you sign up for the walk-on deal, you sign up for something bigger than yourself. I think, really, it’s paid off, and I’m honestly blessed to be in the situation I am. Hopefully, I can help my team out on Saturday.”
Saban had praise for Amos a couple of days before announcing that the scholarship had been awarded.
”Giles has done a good job in taking advantage in the opportunity that he has because of the lack of depth that we have at that position,” Saban said. “He’s got a lot of repetitions and he’s taken advantage of it.”
That’s saying the list. When Amos was finishing his career at Westfield High School in Perry, Ga., he had one scholarship offer — and that one lasted for about eight hours.
“I got offered by Valdosta State,” Amos said. “That same day, they called me back and said they offered another guy and rescinded (my offer),” Amos said. “I really didn’t have many options and this was kind of like a last-minute thing. I hadn’t sent my film to Alabama. I kind of figured that if nobody else wanted me, why would Alabama? But I sent it and they called and asked if I wanted to be a preferred walk-on.”
“Sometimes you question yourself and (what) you are doing, but it goes back to what I said, some things are bigger than yourself. And that’s the mindset I always went with. My dad was always like, ‘Just stick with it. Things will always work out. Just keep doing what you’re doing and things are going to work out.’ So I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Not even the nickname.
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @cecilhurt