100 Moments: Like Father, Like Son
Thursday, August 16, 2012
100 Moments: Like Father, Like Son

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by recognizing seven pairs of football players who bleed Tiger blue.

In Tennessee State history, there have been a total of seven student-athletes who have followed their father's footsteps by suiting up on the TSU football team.

The first pair to don the same jersey was Fred Sumrall Sr. and Fred Sumrall Jr. The elder of the two played at the school from 1936 to 1939 and was a part of the 1938 team that lost only one game. His son played on the line during the late 1960's and later became a coach for the Tigers for over a decade.

The second father and son combo was actually a trio. Robert Drummond had two sons who were not far apart in ages play for Big Blue in Amos and James Drummond. Robert was an All-American tackle for Big Blue from 1945-47 and was a part of back-to-back Black College National Championship teams in 1946 and 1947. Amos and James both played on the team during the 1980's and both were strong tacklers and blockers just like their dad.

The next father-son duo was Frank Pillow Sr. and Frank Pillow Jr. In 1984, Pillow Jr. joined the Tennessee State football team as a receiver. His father played at the school in the early 1960's, but Pillow Jr. had a more dynamic career.

During his senior season, Pillow Jr. led the Tigers in receptions with 37 and in yards with 597. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Pillow Jr. in the eleventh round of the 1988 NFL Draft. Professionally, Pillow Jr. had 23 career receptions for 324 yards.

The next son to follow his father was current head football coach Rod Reed. Reed became the anchor for the TSU defense from 1985 to 1988 and is the school's all-time leader in tackles with 406. Reed's father, Robert was a great player as well. Robert was chosen to the Pittsburgh Courier's All-American team in 1963 and 1964 as a guard.

During Rod Reed's senior season, Romannie Marsalis became the fifth TSU football player to attend his father's alma mater. Rommanie played receiver for Big Blue, but his dad, James played cornerback.

Rommanie had big shoes to fill as his father was drafted in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1969. James played for the team for nine seasons and was even a member of the team that won the last Super Bowl between the AFL and NFL in 1970.

In 1998, Al Davis suited up in blue and white, following his father, Albert, before him. Al wore number 29- three digits lower than his dad who played modern-day running back. Albert played setback in the "T" formation that has fallen out of style among teams today. The Tigers won the Black College National Championship in 1970- Albert's final season.

Last season, Tennessee State welcomed the last father-son duo when Weldon Garlington joined the team. In his freshman season, Weldon returned 26 kicks for an average of 20.9 yards, including a 100-yard return against Austin Peay.

Weldon's dad, Leon could run too. In 1987, he was clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Leon started his TSU career as a quarterback, but he moved to free safety during his sophomore campaign.

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.

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