On the football field, Minkah Fitzpatrick was turning into a star while growing up in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Much more was happening off the field those days.
In 2011, Fitzpatrick, now a sophomore cornerback at Alabama, and his family were affected by Hurricane Irene, a devastating storm that traveled up the east coach and put several major cities at risk.
That included Fitzpatrick’s family, who had its house torn apart by the huge storm.
On Saturday, Fitzpatrick’s path to recovery from Hurricane Irene was featured in a segment on ESPN’s College GameDay ahead of the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s matchup with Texas A&M.
“I never thought a hurricane would come through and destroy my house and affect my family like the way it did,” Fitzpatrick said in the feature. “It kind of changed me to the person I am today.”
Fitzpatrick even offered to drop out of school to get a job and help the family afford to rebuild its home.
Watch the full segment below:
The tide took everything away for Minkah Fitzpatrick in Hurricane Irene. Now, "the Tide" shows how great he can be. https://t.co/gRe4JQQ4RX
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 22, 2016
Fitzpatrick has played a big part in Alabama’s stellar defense this season, including notching three interceptions in a win over Arkansas on Oct. 8.