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"I think mentally it is harder," Bostick said. "It shouldn't be, you try not to change your kicking from the left hash to the right hash, but mentally you think you have to kick it more on the left hash than the right hash.

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few days later, Betty Ruth Bostick died Dec. 15 at Woodland Medical Center in the family's hometown of Cullman. She was 52.

It came from his father, who happens to be a doctor, and during the middle of exams last December. Bostick's mother was experiencing severe abdominal pains and on the way to the hospital.

In fact, many people didn't know that Bostick's grandfather passed away the week of the Tennessee game last year. But that was nothing compared to dealing with the loss of his mother, with a funeral just before Christmas that was attended by teammates, coach Mike Shula and Ungerer.

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With his degree in electrical engineering already in hand, Bostick thought seriously about not playing his senior season and heading home to be with his family. But he never got as far as telling the coaching staff.

Bostick having success despite family adversityBy Christopher WalshAlabama's Brian Bostick (15) reacts after making a 47 yard field goal in the fourth quarter against Tennessee.

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Instead, Bostick opted to return for his final year of eligibility, enroll in graduate school and dedicate himself to improving as a football player.

"He's been one of those guys that, if I was a player on this team, I would look up to Brian Bostick for the way he carries himself," Shula said. "He's quiet. He's always going to be in the right place at the right time doing and saying the right things. He's worked hard. He's been through a lot on and off the field but has just kept his focus on how he can improve himself.

"It's really the same. You have to not let your mind influence what you're doing."

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"He's made some big kicks for us this year and I know we're going to need him for sure this week and the rest of the season. But it makes you feel good as a coach to see a guy who has gone through some tough times, has committed himself to being a better football player."

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definitely won't turn it down," Bostick said. "I'll try my hardest."

"To be able to come back like he has and have a good a season as he has, it says a lot about his personality, his work ethic and everything else."

"He really hasn't shown much emotion about it, but I know it's real tough to lose someone that close to you and then to come back and try and keep mentally focussed to play the best game you can," senior punter Bo Freelend said. "I think he's done a real great job. If I lost my mother, it would kill me.

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His 7.2 points per game are tied for second in the Southeastern Conference, and his 76.9 field goal percentage is tied for third. It has some thinking that Bostick, a converted soccer player who set six school records including receptions, yards receiving and career yards per catch at Cullman High, might have a chance at pro football.

Bostick has only missed three kicks this season, including the block at Kentucky. The wide attempts, from 36 and 46 yards out, came from the right hash, which is traditionally a tougher spot for a right footed kicker.

"It was just something I had to look to God for and try and find answers there, and look for comfort," Bostick said. "I think everyone had to do deal with it their own way. I think it's made us closer. It used to be that I would talk to my parents every couple of days. Now I talk to my dad just about every night."

"That was hard enough on him," special teams coach Dave Ungerer said. "Then to have the sudden death of his mom ? he's had a lot to deal with."

Overall, he's made 10 of 13 field goal attempts, with the 47 yarder against Tennessee the longest, and Bostick has been perfect on 28 point after attempts.

"Both her and my grandfather were really excited to see me kicking and be out there," said Bostick, who also didn't want to let down teammates.

´╗┐Bostick having success despite family adversity

She would be diagnosed with a perforated bowel requiring emergency surgery, but the rupture of the intestinal wall was infected and beyond repair. A Nike Vapormax Sale

During the offseason, Bostick and Ungerer examined every kick attempt and worked on his technique. Strength and conditioning coach Kent Johnston also set up a specifically tailored regiment that required diligence.

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Nike Vapormax Navy Blue

"He never missed a beat," Ungerer said. "Not a work out, anything. He was awesome." But no one was sure if the emotional jolts would change Bostick as a kicker the position that may be more mental than any other.

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Much like he has been this season, the one for mom.

He hasn't written her name on his equipment or made grandiose gestures after each field goal like some players have done. But that doesn't mean she isn't constantly on his mind and in his prayers. And yes, Bostick does think of her after each field goal and wish she were here to see his best season with the Crimson Tide.

To this day, the low key Bostick doesn't talk much about his mother, who was a business administrator for Edward Jones Investments and the former president of the Cullman City Board of Education.

Last season, Bostick made 16 of 25 field goals and 33 of 37 extra points. That he never made excuses and didn't seem to dwell on miscues impressed coaches enough to keep sending him out on the field.

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"Sometimes you're born with the ability, but a lot of kickers have to come out and really work hard at it," Freelend said. "I think it's about 70, 80 percent mental."

Coming into this season, fans were still critical of Bostick after he missed what would have been game winning field goals against both Arkansas and Tennessee games Alabama lost in Nike Vapormax Navy Blue multiple overtimes.

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