For a guy who didnt even play varsity football until his senior year in high school, Jeff Redcross turned into an extremely fast learner. He went on to become one of the best football players in the history of the University of North Alabama and his rapid development as an elite athlete also happened to coincide with UNAs greatest era in football. Because of his religious beliefs as a Seventh Day Adventist, Redcross played only JV football until his senior year at Sparkman High School, although he excelled in basketball in both the 11th and 12th grades. But even though he had been a relative novice in the sport up until then, his promising performances on the prep football fields during that 1989 season were enough to persuade UNA coach Bobby Wallace to sign the Senators 6-3, 220-pound linebacker to a full scholarship in 1990. In short order, it became obvious that Redcross was a star in the making. At Sparkman, he made the All-Madison County Tournament Team in basketball as a junior and senior. He was named to the second-team All-State basketball team as a senior, lettered in both football and track the same year. He also received Sparkmans Scholarship Achievement Award and was named Whos Who in High School Sports by Pegasus Publishing, and lettered in both football and track as a senior. At North Alabama, he became a four-year football letterman from 1990-93, and the awards began piling up with each successive year. His senior year, Redcross was named National Defensive Player of the Year by Football Gazette. He was also named first-team All-Gulf South Conference, GSC Defensive Player of the Year, All-South Region, first-team NCAA All-America by the Division II sports information directors and the Football Gazette, and second-team All-America by the Associated Press. Playing alongside the likes of future NFL players Ron McKinnon and Israel Raybon, Redcross had a spectacular senior year, finishing with 82 tackles (51 solo), three fumble recoveries, six pass break-ups, 20 quarterback pressures, 15 tackles for loss, seven sacks and a blocked extra point. The Lions finished 14-0 that year, capped a 41-34 victory over Indiana (Pa.) During his college career, Redcross played on teams that played in the NCAA Division II playoffs in 1990, 1992 and 1993. UNA also won national championships in 1994 and 1995 during a historic 41-1 run. Redcross was later selected for the 50th Anniversary UNA football team (1948-98) and was also named to the All-Gulf South Team of the 1990s. In 2005, he was inducted into the UNA Athletic Hall of Fame. Redcross was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1990-98. As an artillery section chief and a cannon crewman, he served in the Persian Gulf. Now 41, Redcross lives in Muscle Shoals and works as an officer in the Florence Police Department. He has one daughter, Jeslyn Jai Redcross.