South Alabama senior long snapper, Austin Cole, said cocaine saved his life.
He shared with Alabama news that when his mother was pregnant with him she was struggling with a drug addiction and was given money for an abortion. However, she used the money for another purpose– to buy cocaine. Although most of the time we hear about cocaine and other drugs taking the life of unborn babies, in Cole’s case, cocaine saved him from abortion.
Cole said, “My mom was into drugs and I was an accident, in a sense; I was going to get aborted but she used that (abortion) money for cocaine, and thus I was born,” After Cole’s birth, his father and mother got divorced and Cole was raised by his father.
It wasn’t until Cole was thirteen that his father told him his story. While the news was hard to hear, it gave him maturity well beyond his years. He thanks his dad for guiding him as a teenager and helping him learn to accept his circumstances.
Cole said, “My dad did a phenomenal job raising me. Under the circumstances that I was raised and where I’m at now, I look at that and embrace that. I like telling people that story to let them know it doesn’t matter what you go through, that you can do whatever you want. It hasn’t affected me much. I’m still a man. I’ve come through it. It’s not something I worry about. It’s the cards I was dealt and I’m trying to use those cards to the best of my ability.”
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Now, Cole is living his dream as a Jags’ long snapper. Cole said he learned how to hold a ball by his dad and was encouraged to pursue football. He told him that he would go to college snapping the ball, so he ran with it. Ever since, Cole and his dad have been going to camps in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Cole concluded, “It’s something that fell in my hands. I have to credit coach Ferrell. He’s the one who planted the seed in my head. And my dad. He put in a lot of work with me and spent a lot of money sending me to camps. I played other positions … but long snapper is what I put most of my work into and what I dedicated myself to.”
Although many unborn babies are marginalized and said to be “unwanted” if they grow up in poverty or adversity, Cole learned to be thankful for what he had. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound athlete is thriving and thanks God for where he is today.