- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
Editor's note: This is a series introducing Alabama's 2013 recruiting class that will run through signing day.
Alabama hasn’t had to worry about the long snapper position in quite some time. Carson Tinker has started every game at the position since 2010, but with Tinker graduating after this season, the Crimson Tide needed a replacement. Enter Cole Mazza. The high school senior earned a scholarship from Alabama and plans to start as a freshman. This week, Mazza is taking part in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Q: What made you commit to Alabama?
A: It was just my best fit. I just felt more comfortable there than anywhere else.
Q: What’s life been like since your commitment?
A: It’s been real calm. I haven’t been talking to any other coaches. It’s been just strictly Alabama, and that way I don’t have to worry about anything. On Twitter, all the fans are tweeting me, saying congratulations and talking to me. I’ve gotten messages saying, ‘Can’t wait to have you down here,’ and all that. It’s been pretty cool how the fans support Alabama football so much.
Q: When did you first meet Coach Saban? What was that like?
A: At the end of my sophomore year, I met Coach Saban after the camp. He pulled me in, and we just talked about when he was going to offer me. It was kind of nerve-racking. He was all business. It was more like a nerve-racking experience rather than a welcoming kind of thing.
Q: What’s your favorite Alabama memory to this point?
A: It was probably last year’s national championship when they came back and beat LSU the second time. That was pretty cool. They were already recruiting me really hard, and they were the first ones to show interest, so I was pretty much a fan then, hoping that they were doing good.
Q: What’s your goal when you get to Alabama?
A: Just to work as hard as I can, earn that starting spot and start as a true freshman. That’s been my goal since the beginning.
Q: Do you have a favorite play or memory from high school?
A: Just recently, I won the national long snapper of the year, which was sponsored by Herbalife 24. They give it to the best long snapper of the year. It’s pretty much the Heisman for long snappers. That was pretty much the highlight of my long-snapping career so far.
Favorite food: Pizza
Dream car: Range Rover
Number at Alabama: 58
Favorite NFL player: It used to be Derrick Thomas. He went to Alabama and played for the Kansas City Chiefs, which is also my favorite NFL team.
Dream vacation: Jamaica
Hobby: Hanging out with friends
Music before a game: I usually listen to rap or country just to calm me down sometimes.
7hDerek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren
2dMark Schlabach and Sharon Katz