Cam Stewart’s route into the Alabama football program came with a lot of twists and turns along the way.
The massive 6-foot-9, 251-pound former minor-league pitcher is set to start summer practice for the Crimson Tide as a walk-on tight end.
Michael Casagrande of Al.com writes that Stewart will join the Crimson Tide after two seasons in the San Diego Padres’ farm system after he graduated from Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif.
His early career was dotted with more baseball success as a twirled a no-hitter in the sectional championship in high school. It helped convince the Padres to pick him in the 20th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
But arm trouble helped steer him to become the tallest player in Nick Saban’s coaching tenure. He has concentrated on football since he was let go by the Padres in 2015. In his previous season in the Rookie League, Stewart notched a 5-9 record with a 5.42 ERA.
Torn elbow ligaments sustained that season led to him being waived.
But at the end of his baseball career, another opportunity materialized with the Crimson Tide. Stewart worked with the Crimson Tide last season as a member of their travel squad, but he didn’t see any game action.
His chance could materialize this season at a position of flux for Alabama heading into 2017.
Former Alabama tight ends coach Mario Cristobal is now coaching at Oregon. Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is the head coach at FAU. All-America tight end O.J. Howard has started his NFL career with Tampa Bay.
New Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has experience coaching the position after spending his last three seasons coaching tight ends at New England. He is expected to feature the position in his work with the Crimson Tide.
It will open a chance for Stewart to challenge for a starting position in what would be one of the most unconventional recruiting stories in recent college football history.