DeWayne McBride offers UAB and Birmingham a parting gift
As if his college football career weren't impressive enough, DeWayne McBride made an exit to remember. UAB's All-American running back posted a social media swan song that did far more than announce his unsurprising decision to forgo his senior season and declare for the 2023 NFL Draft.
The words spoke for everyone who joined the team and played a role to give UAB football new life. They served as a poetic coda to the Bill Clark era.
You should read the post in its entirety, but certain sentences, full or fragment, stood out the way McBride did as he led the nation in rushing this season.
"An amazing three years."
"Memories that will last forever."
"I love you guys."
"We did it together."
"I would not be here without you."
"I wouldn't have wanted to spend my college career anywhere else."
"I am forever a Blazer."
Other special players at different schools in this state have expressed similar sentiments. Tank Bigsby, Auburn's admirable junior running back, said farewell to college football that way two weeks ago. No doubt Alabama's memorable Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr. will do the same after the Sugar Bowl. Like McBride, those players have been candles in the wind through games and seasons that came up short, through coaching changes that may change the trajectory of their programs, for better or worse.
No one, in this state and beyond, in the last decade or ever, has changed the trajectory of a college football program quite like Clark. From bad to good or worst to first is impressive. From ashes to the AAC? That doesn't happen, but it did, right here in the city that embraces college football like no other but has yet to wrap its arms around UAB in a way all the games won, records set and lives changed for the better by the Blazers would suggest.
Read the rest of Kevin's tribute to McBride and the Blazers. Only in The Lede.