Five years ago today in a game against Florida, former Alabama star receiver and kick returner Tyrone Prothro suffered a horrific leg injury that is burned into the memory of not just Crimson Tide football fans, but anyone who remembers seeing the play.
The injury came in the fourth quarter of a 31-3 blowout of the then-No. 5 Gators in Tuscaloosa. Prothro recently described the play to Jason Galloway of the Univ. of Alabama’s THE CRIMSON WHITE student newspaper:
It was all the starters’ last play,” said Prothro, who had 134 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the game. “The DBs were playing aggressive, so we called a hitch-and-go. I had him beat by at least five yards.”
But an underthrown ball allowed Florida cornerback Dee Webb to catch up and bump Prothro while he was in the air. After an awkward landing, a Bryant-Denny crowd that had been erupting all game was suddenly in a silent shock.
During the landing, Prothro literally snapped the tibia and fibula in his left leg. The gruesome injury ended his playing career - though Galloway reports that at the time, Prothro was unaware of the gravity of what had happened:
Even Prothro had no idea how serious it was. As a cart carried him off the playing field for the final time, the Tide’s most electric player lifted his hands. He motioned the crowd to break its silence, allowing everybody, including himself, to believe that everything was going to be OK.
What followed was a months worth of surgery and then years of excruciating rehab.
He took his initial redshirt season in 2006 and a medical redshirt year in 2007. His last chance at playing for Alabama came in 2008. When the realization set in that he still had no chance of playing his senior season, he gave up his athletic scholarship.
Five years later to the day, Prothro, who currently works as a bank teller at a Tuscaloosa Regions bank location, says he’s still considering trying pro football. Read more…