Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tinker awarded scholarship for senior season


Carson Tinker didn’t know what to expect when Alabama head coach Nick Saban called him into his office on Monday. But his fears were relieved when Saban gave him the surprising news that the walk-on long snapper would be awarded a scholarship for the upcoming year.

“It’s an honor,” Tinker said. “I’m very thankful. It’s an answered prayer, honestly.”

Tinker has been an integral part of Alabama’s team during his time in Tuscaloosa, especially in the wake of April 2011 tornadoes. His girlfriend, Ashley, was killed in the storms, but Tinker’s courage in the face of such tragedy inspired many in the Tuscaloosa community, especially his teammates, who followed the devastating storms with a national championship season. Tinker was also awarded the Disney Spirit Award for community service.

“That’s awesome,” quarterback AJ McCarron said. “I’m happy for him. The guy has worked hard. Carson has been through a lot, and he’s bounced back really well from everything he’s been through and all that life’s thrown at him, all the adversity. He’s done a great job of handling everything. He’s definitely an outspoken leader for the special teams, on the field and off the field. I think he gets the attention of a lot of guys.”

Tinker could hardly contain himself when Saban told him the news. The Tide had an extra scholarship available and Saban wanted to reward Tinker for his contributions to the team.

“I said, ‘Thanks, coach,’ [and] gave him a hug,” Tinker said. “I think that made him feel a little awkward.”

The first people he told were his mother and father, who will no longer have to feel the burden of paying out-of-state tuition. Tinker graduated in August with a degree in marketing and is currently in graduate school.

“They were fired up,” he said. “It’s a big relief on them. They can kind of focus on things financially that they’ve been wanting to focus on. They’ve been paying out-of-state tuition. I recently got in-state, but I’m happy for them because they can take care of some of the stuff they’ve been wanting to take care of.”

The first teammate to find out was kicker Jeremy Shelley, a fellow walk-on. From there, word spread throughout the team of Tinker’s award before an announcement was made.

“It really is inspiring to see the impact I can have on people outside football,” Tinker said. “I’ve said this a long time ago, and it’s been my mantra: to be a blessing to people. That’s something I try to do every day. Look to be a blessing to somebody. That’s good to hear, but at the same time, you should just do it because it’s the right thing, you know?”

Tinker walked on to the team as a freshman, where he redshirted. Tinker won the started long-snapping job two years later his sophomore year, starting in all 13 games. Last season, as a junior, he started once again.

“We’re very excited that we’re able to award a guy that has been such a positive influence in so many ways – personally, academically and athletically in our program,” Saban said.

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