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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

Rolling upwards: How Heelys and the campus Snapchat story made one student famous


Think back to elementary school when wearing Heelys was an easy way to boost your’s popularity status.

Although this trend eventually died out, one UA student, Isaac Younker, dared to make it cool again in 2017. To most people on campus, the freshman microbiology and Spanish major from Rockford, Michigan is known as “purple polo and Heelys guy.” Younker’s rise to campus-wide stardom was initiated by a Snapchat sent to the campus story by Tiffany Herring, a freshman majoring in nursing.

“I’ve always just been obsessed with Heelys because my mom never let me have them as a kid,” Herring said. “Basically, I just saw him Heely past Gorgas one morning and I made a video saying that whoever it was, I was in love with him.”

Herring had no idea that the video was going to make it onto the campus story and blow up the way that it did.

“I thought it would be something my friends saw and that’s it,” Herring said.

At that point, Younker was completely unaware that his rise to fame had begun.

“That day I was playing football on the Quad with some of the other guys in my pledge class and they were telling me to look at the campus story because I had an admirer,” Younker said.

Coincidentally, Younker’s fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, was having a date party the next night and he didn’t have a date, so he took advantage of his newfound fame to ask Tiffany to accompany him.

“Once purple polo and Heelys guy became the subject of a lot of the videos on the campus story, my friends and roommates were all encouraging me to ask [Herring] to the date party,” Younker said. “I sent a snap to the campus story asking her to meet me at the steps of Gorgas at 10 p.m.”

Younker’s invitation was met with many responses from other students encouraging Herring to meet him at Gorgas. Herring went at the urging of her roommates.

“They dragged me out of bed to get meet Isaac at Gorgas,” Herring said. “Sometimes I think they were more invested in it than I was.”

To the delight of many wannabe matchmakers who were following the campus story, the two met and ended up going to the date party together.

Even though Younker’s fashion choices caused him to be noticed, Herring can’t help but feel instrumental to his stardom.

“I mean, I don’t want to say I’m like Kanye, but I definitely made him famous,” Herring said.

Since then, Younker has been enjoying his newfound stardom as it has made him more approachable to strangers.

“Having almost everyone on campus recognize me as I walk around has definitely been a novel experience.” Younker said. “The part I have enjoyed the most is being able to meet and interact with a ton of people that I probably otherwise would never have met.”

Younker acknowledges that this approachability also comes with the strange experience of having people on campus randomly film him.

“I have had a few good laughs when some people try to be discreet and fail,” Younker said. “My favorite was this one time a guy walked past me with his head forward and headphones in, pretending to not pay attention, but his phone was pointed straight at me!”

While Younker is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame, he acknowledges that it won’t last forever.

“In all reality, I don’t think that I will forever be purple polo Heelys guy,” Younker said. “However, a great plus of all of this is that I now have a pretty cool new fun fact about myself!”

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