Posted: Tuesday August 21, 2012 9:39 PM

Alabama awards Carson Tinker scholarship

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Long snapper Carson Tinker will play his final season for No. 2 Alabama on scholarship.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Tuesday the former walk-on is getting a full scholarship. Tinker was thrust into the spotlight last April by tragedy. His girlfriend, Ashley Harrison, was killed by a tornado after both were thrown about 50 yards from the closet where they huddled.

"We are very excited and happy that we are able to reward Carson,'' Saban said. "He has had such a positive influence on so many ways - personally, academically and athletically.''

Tinker said Saban summoned him to his office on Monday to give him the good news.

"I gave him a hug,'' Tinker said. "I think that made him feel a little awkward.''

He said the news is a financial relief for his parents. His father started a new job as a plant manager in Birmingham on Monday.

"You really have to earn it, so it's an honor,'' Tinker said. "I'm very thankful. It's an answered prayer, honestly.''

Quarterback AJ McCarron said it was "awesome'' that Tinker got a scholarship.

"Carson has been through a lot and he's bounced back really well from everything he's been through and all that life's thrown at him,'' McCarron said. "He's handled everything well.''
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