The following statement was emailed Thursday afternoon to FOX6 Sports from the University of Alabama Athletics Department regarding the death of UA offensive lineman Aaron Douglas:
UA OFFENSIVE LINEMAN AARON DOUGLAS
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama Department of Athletics has been notified that Crimson Tide offensive lineman Aaron Douglas died Thursday in Florida. No further details are available at this time.
"It is with tremendous sadness that we received the news of the passing of Aaron Douglas," said Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore. "Our prayers and sympathies are with the Douglas family at this tragic time."
"It is a tragedy anytime you lose someone close to you and even more so when it is a member of your family," said UA head football coach Nick Saban. "Aaron was a part of our family and always will be a part of our family at Alabama. He was an outstanding young man and we were excited about what he had accomplished as a player and a person in the short time he was with us.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, David and Karla, who are two of the best people you will ever meet and the love they had for their son was something very special. As a father, there is nothing we can say to describe the loss of a son. Our Alabama family has sustained a tragic loss and the Alabama family is grieving that loss. We will be here to support Aaron's family in any way we can."
Douglas, 21, was a native of Maryville, Tenn., who transferred to Alabama from Western Arizona Community College in January, 2011, and practiced with the Crimson Tide during spring drills. Douglas began his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee, where he earned Freshman All-America honors in 2009. After that season, Douglas transferred to Western Arizona Community College and earned NJCAA All-America recognition in 2010.
Douglas started 10 games at tackle and saw action in 13 contests as a redshirt freshman in 2009 at Tennessee after changing positions from tight end. He was named the SEC offensive lineman of the Week following the Vols win over Memphis in 2009 and earned Freshman All-SEC honors from league coaches.
A standout tight end during his high school career at Maryville (Tenn.) High School, Douglas was twice named the Class 4A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year in Tennessee while helping Maryville to a 60-0 record with four consecutive Class 4A state championships.
Douglas' father, David, was an offensive lineman for UT in the mid-1980s while his mother, Karla Horton Douglas, started three seasons for the Lady Vols basketball team and contributed to head coach Pat Summitt's first national title team.