Randy Rhino talks about being an ACC legend

Former Georgia Tech greata Randy Rhino was announced on Tuesday as an inductee to the ACC Legends class. The induction ceremony will be the week of the championship game in Charlotte in December.

A defensive back and punt-returner, Rhino was a three-time All-American from 1972-74. He had 14 interceptions, the second-most in Tech’s history. He once returned a punt a school-record 96 yards for a touchdown.

Rhino took a few minutes to talk about his playing career at Tech (questions and answers have been paraphrased):

On being named as an ACC Legend:

A legend…always means your old, doesn’t it?

On the differences between the school then and now:

I can still visualize the way it was when I was here.

We are standing in an area [in the Edge Center] that was the old swimming pool or the old gym. The AA was the gray building up the hill.

The old locker rooms are up under the stadium. The ghost of Sarge is running around down there. Sarge was our equipment guy in the 70s.

I can remember very well how things were. The stadium hasn’t changed that much except for the old horseshoe. They had that full track that went all the way around the stadium. That’s where we had to do our testing. There were stories of guys hiding when they got under that part of the stadium and waiting on the guys to come back around.

I never did that [laughs].

My dad, Chappell, still tells me the story of in the ’50s, the old swimming pool. He still has nightmares of this drown-proofing class that you had to take to graduate. My dad couldn’t swim a lick. He was petrified. This old marine taught the course. He called everyone bloodsuckers. He says to this day he doesn’t know how the guy passed him because he still can’t swim.

On Paul Johnson and the “old-timey” spread-option offense:

I don’t really consider it an old-time offense, even though my senior year was Pepper Rodger’s first year. I played in that era of option football. It’s a great philosophy because you can still get the wings out in pass routes or run the triple option. It’s a great offense to watch when it’s rolling.

As a DB, absolutely the worst offense [to play against]… the veer and the wishbone were just brutal to play against.

On the great players he got to compete against:

Being an independent we were able to play some pretty unique schedules. We actually played Southern Cal the year after their national championship. That was Pat Hayden at QB and Lynn Swann at wide receiver. He was one of the top wide receivers I’ve ever gone against.

We played Pittsburgh. They brought a guy in named Tony Dorsett. I think I missed five tackles that day. I knew he was something special.

We played Notre Dame coming off a national championship.

Could you have covered Demaryius Thomas, who was 6-3, 230 pounds?

Bay-bay and I became fairly close friends. He always asked how I would cover him. I covered some guys like him, but they were tight ends. You never saw a guy like Bay-Bay at wide receiver. He would have played tight end.

I used to kid him a lot in his younger days that if he got any bigger they would move him to tight end. He would always cringe.

On his son Kelley being the third Rhino to play at Georgia Tech:

Very few athletes have gotten the thrill of having their son break your records. Of course, his mother was pulling for every single record to get broken.

One day he was getting close to both of them. He said he was going to try to leave one intact. He said coach [George] O’Leary would have had a cow if he caught a punt inside the 10-yard line. So he left my 96-yarder intact.

56 comments Add your comment

DeepSnap

August 3rd, 2010
4:07 pm

“A wide receiver and punt-returner”? You’ve got a scoop.

Try “defensive back and punt returner”

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
4:11 pm

DOUG you have to be a DAWG! Mr RHINO was never a wide receiver. Boy do your home work. His son was the same a DB and Punt-returner that never made a fair catch and almost always fell foward to get a yard for sure.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 3rd, 2010
4:17 pm

I ran into Randy at the Miami game last year tailgating. Great guy, the game sure sucked.

Loved watching Kelly return punts, but no way could he have gone 96 yards without caught form behind. His legs were/are just too short. I spoke to Kelly about a year ago, he showed me a picture of the next Rhino who should be playing for GT in about 17 years.

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
4:19 pm

Mr. Rhino I went to Pepper Rogers football camp and played Don Bessillieu and Eddie Lee Ivory in a game of hourse in that old building. I guess they let me win. No shot could be a dunk or outside what is now the 3 point line. I have my Don Bessilleu #25 tare away jersey to this day. My mom went to O’Keefe and she cheered on the same court the Tech women play Vollyball on now. Do you ever hear from E.O. Wheeler or Captin Crazy? HAHAHA good times.

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
4:21 pm

HORSE damn need to proof read.

BigTimeTechFan

August 3rd, 2010
4:39 pm

I remember watching Rhino play, I was in like 3rd grade.
Was one of my favorites along with:
Lucias Stanford
Jimmy Robinson
Salt & Pepper – I forget their real names
Eddie Lee Ivory (My fav all time after Joey Hamilton)
David Sims
Jimmy Lincoln

BigTimeTechFan

August 3rd, 2010
4:40 pm

POAD – You get one more shot with Hourse

St. Clarrkston

August 3rd, 2010
4:41 pm

lanier

August 3rd, 2010
4:43 pm

what ever happened to EO.? one of the great tech names

Tampa Wreck

August 3rd, 2010
4:55 pm

Wow.. you guys are talking about my day.. “Kicking of for the Jackets… EEEEEEEEEEEE
OOOOOOOOOOOOOO Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeler.” I miss Al.. bless his heart.. Didn’t have any idea what was going on when listening on radio the last couple of years, but the man loved the jackets and that was good enough.

Doug Roberson

August 3rd, 2010
5:17 pm

POAD, my bad. It’s fixed.

anybody but gt

August 3rd, 2010
5:44 pm

Who is this person? If he played for gt he must suck.

Chuck

August 3rd, 2010
6:00 pm

I’m a UGA alumni and Dawgs fan, but this guy is awesome. He used to give me pitching lessons when I was in Little League at NYO. Good for him!

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
6:03 pm

Anybody you must be right. I hear about UGA players all the time. They must be great in business. Mr. Rhino runs his own business and didn’t need a GT alum/fan to hire him. SID did help him learn a Practice. Where ar Hershel’s kids going to school? Do they run track or carry the football to carry on the family business at UGA?

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
6:06 pm

CHUCK NYO? GREAT times. Do you know Shan Morris, Wes Prichett. Ivey Johnson, The Crim boys, David Bickers, the Shamburgers, Glen Howenstine, Billy Chipman, or did you play when Bob Blackwell was there?

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
6:09 pm

OK Doug just picking fun. Hey i emailed M Bradley but I will ask you are the people at the AJC going to get a Ga. State Student form their journalism school to be a Blogger for the Football team. GSU needs to market their product on the AJC and do Live game blogs like Tech and UGA.

Chuck

August 3rd, 2010
6:10 pm

I actually played Buckhead Baseball until Pony League at NYO, which I didn’t last long at. Randy was still the go-to man for pitching lessons, even for the Buckhead Baseball folk. I played around the time Gordon Beckham did (THE Buckhead All-Star Legend, wish he was on the Bravos).

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
6:13 pm

Ok I was way before you in the 72-81 years.

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
6:17 pm

Shan is Larry’s Morris’ son #22 and went to Auburn, Wes Pritchet #98(I think) went to Norte Dame, Bucky Shamburger went to Tech #22.

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
6:21 pm

TAMPA if you remember E.O. Wheeler then you have to remember Captin Crazy the head Cheerleader. He had the Curly Blond Hair and would eat grass and do push-up when Tech scored. he was a HUGE motivator for the team at Camp and practices. His last name was; sorry for spelling, ZOKIE! One crazy dude for sure. If Tech had a BUZZ back then it would have been him for sure.

SuperB

August 3rd, 2010
6:43 pm

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
6:51 pm

SUPERB WHO? are you really that stupid? If you want to ask WHO then ask WHO paid for Hershel’s 455 Smokey & the Bandit Transam.

gt76

August 3rd, 2010
6:59 pm

Played soccer against E.O. wheeler and against Luke Manget’s dad. Whatever happened to these two players? Any chance of the AJC doing a follow up to find out what these two are doing?
Another great name from the past – whatever happened to Rock Perdoni?

Tampa Wreck

August 3rd, 2010
7:02 pm

I was in high school then and caught most of my games on the radio, but I assure you that if was looking at cheerleaders when I did attend a game it wasn’t Captain Crazy :-)

Robert

August 3rd, 2010
7:03 pm

Captain Crazy was Scott Zolke.

Delbert D.

August 3rd, 2010
7:06 pm

Randy and his family were great neighbors.

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
7:18 pm

Thanks Robert I kind of remember his name but not spelling. Tampa You didn’t look at Captin Crazy for his looks but for the Things he would do. During the timeouts he was a SHOW all to himself for sure.

anybody but gt

August 3rd, 2010
7:34 pm

Again, never heard of him. He played for gt he must suck. If he managed to accumulate any wealth or whatever, I guarantee his Dad and Mom set him up.

Athens, Georgia

August 3rd, 2010
7:49 pm

.
Nesbitt for Heisman
.

T3

August 3rd, 2010
9:01 pm

Watched Randy Rhino play at GT. The guy was as machine at DB.

A great representative of GT in all aspects.

Worm

August 3rd, 2010
9:37 pm

Legend..he was indeed a fine player, but perhaps they should retire his jersey at Life Chiropractic!..He never played in the ACC..How far back or we gonna’ take this conference thing?..Again, I’ve always admired Rhino-especially since I knew Dr. Sid and staff!

GT Woman

August 3rd, 2010
9:53 pm

Randy Rhino was great! Enjoyed watching him play at GT.

hind tit

August 3rd, 2010
10:04 pm

rhino played after the stupid mistake of leaving the sec and going independent and the acc.

GT76

August 3rd, 2010
10:14 pm

Played baseball with Randy and his brother Danny at GT. They were great teammates. Played with Jimmy Robinson in high school and had classes with him at Tech. Those were the days!

POAD

August 3rd, 2010
10:32 pm

WORM you seem to know a GREAT deal about Tech and SID. You do Know SID has a 52 championship ring, right? Worm I bet D. POLLACK would love to know Mr. Rhino. The lil UGA boy got hurt playing BIG Boy football. I thought the SEC players were MEN not cry babies like TEBOW, Pollack and Damon Evans. Sid started a school and what did UGA players do?

bob

August 3rd, 2010
11:13 pm

He never played in the ACC.

The Real Deal

August 4th, 2010
12:29 am

Doug, I’m glad to see that you really didn’t pull your tooth out in The Hangover.

Scotty C

August 4th, 2010
1:17 am

As good as a player Randy was…he is one of the finest people you’ll ever meet…

Truth

August 4th, 2010
1:21 am

Have to admit that he was nowhere near the player that his midget son was. Lil’Kel was a beast!!!

DogDo

August 4th, 2010
7:46 am

Doug – Can you find out where E O Whealler is? What a character! A Sports Illustrated story once told that, near the end of a close game, Tech needed a field goal. When the call went out to E O, he was napping on the bench. They had to wake him up! Color like that is a treat for everybody!

Robert

August 4th, 2010
8:09 am

Hey, Doug, know what else is old-fashioned like the veer? A writer who knows the difference between your and YOU’RE and uses them correctly. (RR’s first answer)

Shug

August 4th, 2010
8:18 am

Randy Rhino was a Tech all-time great, but hard to call him an ACC legend when he never played in an ACC game or for an ACC team. Makes as much sense as to call him an SEC legend.

JB

August 4th, 2010
8:32 am

I’m a Dawg fan, but i enjoyed watching Rhino play……A great guy and a heck of a ball player………Can’t believe he went to Tech….I met him….and he’s a class act…..

TheBuzzKiller

August 4th, 2010
8:58 am

juvenal

August 4th, 2010
10:09 am

alumni is plural: alumnus or alumna, the singular…when in doubt, just say, “alum”…funny, since 1980 was last week, b4 then is a ?…

Dawglasville

August 4th, 2010
10:15 am

Congrats to Randy Rhino. He was my favorite Jacket. I was only 7 and I’m sure that his name had a lot to do with it.

go jackets

August 4th, 2010
10:56 am

salt & pepper was Danny Myers and Rudy Allen

BigTimeTechFan

August 4th, 2010
11:06 am

Salt & Pepper – I forget their real names

Correction, it was “Sweet & Lowe”

Mike

August 4th, 2010
11:10 am

How does a guy who never played in the conference get into the conference’s hall of fame??????

Gene

August 4th, 2010
11:29 am

Chappell’s mother was an elementary PE teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools. I recall her teaching vollyball in the mid 50’s in Buckhead.