The most important steps on Legion Field during UAB’s return to college football were by a man who wasn’t wearing cleats. He wasn’t a player, or a coach or even a referee. It was the school’s director of character development, Tim Alexander.
Alexander was once a talented recruit at E. B. Erwin high school in Birmingham, Alabama back in 2006. Then he was involved in a car crash that left him paralyzed. The car careened off a cliff and when it finally came to a rest, Alexander realized he couldn’t feel his legs.
“I had a traumatic brain injury,” he said. “I couldn’t read, couldn’t write, couldn’t do anything. When I tried to talk to my mom, they put a marker in my mouth and tried to make me move my head.
“When I first had my car wreck, there were a lot of doctors and therapists that did give me a chance. After my insurance ran out, they said there was nothing they could do. The first year, I was very suicidal.”
By 2012, Alexander had regained use of his upper body and enrolled at UAB as a student. He got the football program to grant him status as an honorary player, and he lived a college football player’s life from his wheelchair.
He graduated with a master’s degree in 2015, and was integral in raising money to bring the Blazer’s football program back. He now works as a liaison between the team and the Birmingham community from which he is from.
He’s pursuing a doctorate and works out as much as three times a day. He’s convinced he’ll walk again unaided and wants to fulfill his late brother’s dream of being drafted to the NFL.
After reading his story and watching that video, who are you to tell him he can’t?