(WIAT) — For 25 years, Coach Paul Bear Bryant led the Alabama Crimson Tide on the gridiron. Winning was a part of his identity, with six national titles and 13 SEC championships under his belt.
Now, that legacy continues as a new generation in his family rises to the top of the game. Coach Bryant’s great-grandson, Paul Tyson, is making a name for himself on the field at Hewitt-Trussville High School.
“It’s really just something cool to connect to, just to know that that’s in my family,” Tyson said. “He was such a good leader and would always accept a challenge. That’s something I would love to do, accept anything that comes your way.”
Tyson says the love for the game is in his bloodline. The passion his great-grandfather had for football makes a way into his heart. There is no doubt his family is full of encouragers.
“I’ve just always wanted to be a football player. My dad was always throwing a football in my crib and me throwing it out. Growing up, I loved playing the game and he was happy with that, “ Tyson said.
Some might think that family legacy comes with a lot of pressure, but Tyson says it only makes him better.
“It’s really just something that I thrive in. I love that type of pressure. Some people might think that they might get nervous about it, but it’s something I love. I’m just always living with it.”
But that doesn’t mean Tyson is impervious to the fame that comes along with being a direct descendant of an Alabama football legend. Tyson recalled the craziest interaction he’s ever had with an Alabama fan.
“One game–it was actually the LSU game. And I was sitting next to a fan and he was just talking to me most of the game. He figured out who my great grandfather was and I mean, he just kissed me on the top of the head… An old man! And it was crazy!” Tyson recalled. “I just looked at him like, ‘what are you doing?!’ I was in shock! I didn’t know what to do, so I just kind of got up and left. I wasn’t going to sit by him much longer.”