Christopher Smith

UAB Carries Paralyzed Player To Top Of Legion Field

Created on Feb. 15, 2014 4:43 AM EST

It's not often that one of the worst programs in FBS running stadium steps classifies as a story, but UAB provided an exception Friday during an offseason workout.

Timothy Alexander, a former star tight end paralyzed in a car accident while still attending E.B. Erwin High School in Birmingham, Ala., eventually began attending UAB as a student and latched himself to the football program, convincing last year's coach Garrick McGee to let him practice.

Though confined to a wheelchair, UAB gave Alexander his own jersey and he even bench pressed 315 pounds, according to a CBS Sports report.

McGee since has departed for Louisville, but Alexander still is a part of the program. While at Friday's practice, according to, strength and conditioning coach Zac Woodfin began carrying Alexander up the rickety Legion Field steps to join his teammates.

It would be quite a feat for one man to carry another to the top of the large stadium, and doesn't seem probable. But several Blazers noticed Woodfin's effort and rushed to help him, resulting in this tremendous photo provided by UAB linebacker Jake Ganus on Twitter.

As a Birmingham native, I can attest to the fact that UAB is a depressing program and Legion Field may be an even more depressing venue. This team won two games last year in Conference USA, needing a win against the Northwestern State Demons to get that far. Then the head coach left — wasn't fired or pressured — in favor of an offensive coordinator job at a school that arguably doesn't even have a Top 15 program.

In a week filled with complaints about rules changes and continued talk of pay for college players, the Blazers have provided a refreshing spirit in rallying around Alexander.

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