Cole Mazza may be the first long snapper to earn a scholarship from Nick Saban out of high school, but on Tuesday, Alabama senior long snapper Carson Tinker earned his own scholarship from the Crimson Tide head coach after walking on four years earlier.
Mazza, who committed to Alabama in June, wanted to be one of the first to congratulate Tinker for the accomplishment.
“I was honestly so proud of him,” Mazza said. “He’s worked so hard for that. With all he’s been through and how hard he’s worked to get back to the top from what happened in the tornado. He deserves it more than anybody in this world to finally earn his full scholarship at Alabama.”
Mazza received good news of his own this week when he was selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game in California on January 4.
The Bakersfield, Ca., native was one of two long snappers selected to compete in the game, joining Nebraska commitment Gabriel Miller. The two earned nominations after trying out against the nation’s top long snappers in Naples, Fla., last month.
“That’s a huge honor to be an All-American,” Mazza said. “I’m one of the only ones ever from my city to be an All-American. It’s a huge blessing to be a part of that team and family that I’ll be playing with in January.”
Over the summer, the Tide commitment says he’s checked in regularly with the UA coaching staff to see how they’re doing as he prepares for his senior season.
“I talk to them on a weekly basis, at least, either through Facebook or I call them,” Mazza said. “They like to check on me and see how I’m doing with school, how football’s going and how I’m getting ready to come in next year and play college ball.
“It’s awesome. I love talking to Coach [John] Wozniak and Coach [Bobby] Williams to see how their life’s going and to see how football there is going with their first game coming up and how they’re going to do this season. I can get a little sneak preview to see how they’re doing.”
Mazza is obviously excited for Alabama’s season opener against Michigan at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. Although he thinks it’s going to be a close game, he’s confident the Tide will come out on top.
UA’s future long snapper says he won’t be back in Tuscaloosa until January when he plans to take his official visit.