Sophomore Jalston Fowler made the most of his limited chances in last weekend’s game versus Kent State, rushing for a 49 yard touchdown and ending up as Bama’s leading rusher despite only four carries. He leads the Crimson Tide yards per carry with 17.25 and ended last year leading YPC with 7.93.
This week in media interviews Fowler humbly deflected attention away from himself and praised fellow backs Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, saying “I'm blown away by those other guys; they’re great players and I love playing with them,” and “Trent has strength and power, Eddie has the moves...me, I've just got power,” and “I like to block for Trent and Eddie and I’d like for them to score a lot of touchdowns behind me this year.”
Jalston is accustomed to making the most of disadvantaged situations and uplifting the folks around him. His life has not been an easy one. When he was sixteen, his older brother died from an accidental gunshot wound. Fowler forgave and consoled the friend involved in the accident, then encouraged the traumatized high school students to return to school. Then he was ruled ineligible to play football as a high school senior because of his age, the result of having to repeat the seventh grade and only four days between his birthdate and the cutoff. Instead of giving up, he took on a student coaching role with the football team and used the extra time to complete his high school studies in 3-1/2 years. His studiousness earned him the opportunity to enroll early at Alabama.
His high school coaches say Fowler can do it all with speed, strength and soft hands, and he’s a future NFL talent in waiting.
Yet more than anything, Jalston’s boyhood acquaintances value him as a person. “That young man, adversity comes and he just overcomes it,” Vigor coach Kerry Stephenson said. “He's one of those people who has it -- whatever ‘it' is, he has it.”
Jalston Fowler has certainly won over Alabama fans; not an easy feat earning the enthusiastic support of the Crimson Tide faithful steeped in Bama’s long tradition of winning football. And all those fans fervently hope the “it” Fowler has is the football … on his way to the end zone.