Alabama's idea of the perfect football player is one who runs like Johnny Mack Brown, passes like Harry Gilmer, catches like Don Hutson and is the size of—well, of Wayne Trimble, who is 6 feet 3, 195, and tough. Trimble is, according to one Southeastern Conference coach who tried and failed to recruit him, "the best sophomore in the league." He is so good, in fact, that Alabama Coach Bear Bryant is going to find it impossible after a game or two to keep Trimble out of the starting backfield—somewhere. Trimble, playing quarterback, passed for 16 touchdowns his senior year at Cullman, Ala., was a high school All-America and led his team to the state championship. But this year he will probably be a halfback. Why? Because Alabama has Joe Namath and Sugar Bowl star Steve Sloan ahead of him. His time to quarterback will come when they depart. "Wayne has tremendous potential," says Bryant, "but he's inexperienced and will have to prove himself." Trimble, who also water-skis, plays golf and was a basketball and track star at Cullman, was the standout of Alabama's spring-training game, catching—not throwing—four passes.
The Southeastern Conference is well stocked with other promising sophomores. Runners Giles Smith of Georgia Tech and Gawain DiBetta of LSU among them, and with solid linemen, such as Auburn's end, Scotty Long. The Atlantic Coast Conference is agog over two ponderous prospects at Virginia—End Don Parker (6 feet 3, 250) and Guard John Naponick (6 feet 10, 290). Parker, the son of a wealthy food broker from Hawaii, is unique in that he recruited himself—sending return postage-paid film clips to Virginia in the hope of obtaining a scholarship. He then held himself out for a year, playing every position except quarterback on Virginia's cannon-fodder squad to determine his best position. It turned out to be tight end, and Parker should become the best Virginia has had. But the South's Sophomore of the Year—hands down—should be Halfback Wayne Trimble of Alabama.