It was a bittersweet week for Alabama tackle James Carpenter, the Seattle Seahawks first round draft pick. With the 2011 NFL Draft looming, Alabama was hit by a batch of devastating tornadoes as severe storms roared through the South. In Tuscaloosa, a mile-long tornado ravaged the city, hitting close to home for Carpenter. Fellow Alabama lineman Carson Tinker was thrown 50-feet by the tornado and parts of the city were demolished.
So you can probably understand that while Carpenter was excited about being taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, he was also preoccupied with the relief effort. And the morning after Carpenter was drafted, when most picks are on a natural high and in the midst of a whirlwind media tour, Carpenter placed a call and asked "How can I help?"
James Carpenter calls today at 9:15, the morning after the biggest night of his life. His question: How can I help Tuscaloosa?
The Alabama football program has mobilized to help in the relief effort in the aftermath of the tornado, helping dig the city out and providing support to those who lost their homes. Head coach Nick Saban and former head coach Gene Stallings were out providing food and support to relief workers the day after the tornadoes hit, so it's no wonder Carpenter was ready and willing to help.
But I couldn't be more impressed that in a time many first round picks are celebrating, Carpenter was out helping others whose lives were changed by the natural disaster. Chalk me up as an immediate fan.