Bama’s Shultz lives dream

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Roger Shultz’s dream was to play football at the University of Alabama.

After a standout high school career in Atlanta, Ga., Shultz received scholarship offers from nearly 100 schools. He made the “easy choice” and chose Alabama.

At 18 years old, he had accomplished his dream.

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“Playing at Alabama was a dream come true,” Shultz said prior to serving as the keynote speaker at the Butler County University of Alabama Alumni Association’s annual meeting Thursday night. “I had dreamed of playing football at Alabama my whole life. But once I did that, the question became what to do with the rest of my life. What I did was get fat, go on a reality show, and lose weight.”

In 2008, the former Crimson Tide offensive lineman finished as the runner-up on the popular television show, “The Biggest Loser.” Shultz lost 164 pounds in just five months and won $250,000 in prize money.

He said that even four years later, fans of the show still recognize him.

“I had one guy come up to me and tell me he didn’t know I spoke German so well,” Shultz said. “I gave him a puzzled look and told him I didn’t speak German at all and asked what on earth he was talking about. He told me that while he was living in Germany he watched the show and had seen me speaking German. I explained to him that it wasn’t me speaking German, that the television folks had just dubbed it in German to be able to air the show in Germany. I got a good laugh out of that.”

While Shultz, a four-year starter at Alabama, came up just short of winning the grand prize on the hit show, he was able to help the Crimson Tide claim the ultimate prize in 1992.

Shultz served as a graduate assistant on head coach Gene Stalling’s coaching staff during the Crimson Tide’s perfect season that ended with the Crimson Tide beating the University of Miami for the national championship.

“Being a part of a national championship team was pretty special,” Shultz said. “Being a graduate assistant is different than being a player, but it was still a great experience to be a part of winning it all.”

Shultz said other memorable moments included winning the SEC championship in 1989 and beating Auburn his senior season.

“It had been a while since we beat those guys,” Shultz said with a smile.

Shultz, who was a two-time All-SEC performer and a freshman All-American at Alabama, was named to Alabama’s All Decade Team for the 1990s and was also selected for the school’s 50-Year Iron Bowl Team alongside Alabama greats such as Joe Namath and Ken Stabler.

“Playing at Alabama and having the chance to be a four-year starter was an amazing experience,” Shultz said. “It’s something that I am very proud of. It was my dream, and I got to live it.”