Goose Creek grad overcomes horrific wreck to play college football

      GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -- Rashard Alston now more than ever has a true grip on reality.{}

      "I'm so excited about starting my career at Newberry College. I get to go to school for free and do the thing I love most, which is play football," said Alston.{}

      It's never been easy for Alston. He backed up Goose Creek great Virgil Smalls before breaking into the starting lineup and breaking out his senior season.

      But his season ended with his team being booted from the playoffs rather than at Williams-Brice Stadium.

      He'll bring strength, toughness and a nose for the end zone to his next chapter at Newberry.{}

      "Anyone wants to go and start but even if I don't start, I just want to help the team," said Alston.{}

      Things and perspective changed for Alston earlier this month. After leaving IHOP in North Charleston with a group of friends and heading towards his grandmother's home off of Dorchester Road on a rainy night, his life changed.{}

      "Two or three miles down the road, it was raining and I felt the car hydroplane a bit. I slowed down to 35 miles an hour; the right back tire blew on me. I tried to brake but the back axle broke. The car twisted facing the other direction; I saw the wall in the middle of the interstate and I couldn't do anything," said Alston.{}

      It was a moment, an instant, where football was the furthest thing from his mind. {}

      "The car flipped, hit the side, the top, the other side. The glass shattered and it landed on the wheels. I was sitting and feeling myself. I had a white shirt on but it was covered with blood. I didn't know where it was coming from," he said.{}

      Alston says his faith got him through the crash. His strength on the field was nothing compared to the strength that helped him on I-26 that night.{}

      "I sat there for 5 or 10 minutes crying before I called my Mom, Dad or the police. I'm thankful that I'm still alive," he said.

      Aside from scrapes and bruises, Alston walked away unscathed.{}

      "You feel relief that you are still alive, not dead. Usually, you hear about someone and their car flipping, you hear about them dying or seriously injured."{}

      That was two weeks from his first college football camp. Rashard Alston truly understands the saying "live to play."{}