The story of Cam Stewart is nearly hidden on the Alabama football roster. Even as a 6-foot-8 tight end, the walk-on doesn’t garner much attention.
He’s the tallest player on Alabama’s roster, and also one of its oldest. He’s a 23-year-old sophomore. Stewart walked on at Alabama last season after a three-year minor league baseball career. Stewart was a pitcher in the San Diego Padres’ organization.
When he decided to go to college, he wanted to try playing football.
“It’s cool to see both worlds,” he said. “It’s cool that I’m older and experienced baseball first, and now I come here and see everything that comes with Alabama football. I think I’m able to enjoy it a little bit more because I am older. It’s cool to see the younger guys go through it. The whole experience has been unbelievable.”
Stewart arrived at Alabama and had a lot to learn. But Mario Cristobal and Joe Pannunzio, Alabama’s current and former tight ends coaches, had both worked with former Miami Hurricanes tight end Jimmy Graham as he transitioned from basketball to football. They had an idea of how to help Stewart along.
His size means he’s a valuable scout team player. He can imitate opposing players that his teammates may have trouble with and provide a different look for the defense. His professional baseball career means that his eligibility in that sport is finished, but he’s still interested in the sport.
“We’ve chit-chatted a good bit about baseball,” said linebacker Keith Holcombe, who also plays baseball. “I haven’t seen him pick up a baseball and throw it since he’s been on the team. I’m sure he can still sling it.”
Stewart has done all this while doubling as a pre-med student. He’ll play as long as he can, but he has plans when he finishes the second act of his athletic career.
“I heard Kobe Bryant say this the other day, if sports is the best thing he’s ever done, then he’s not doing the right thing,” Stewart said. “Sports is fun. It’s a game. At the end of the day, it’s a game. It’s entertainment. I think what really matters to me is helping other people. I want to help as many people as I can.”