Alabama football player Aaron Douglas found dead in Florida (UPDATED)

Sad news out of the recruiting world.

Aaron Douglas, who was projected to start at offensive tackle for Alabama, was found dead on Thursday morning in Jacksonville, Fla., according to al.com:

Fernandina Beach police chief James Hurley was asked by a reporter in Florida if Douglas’ death could be a drug and alcohol overdose. “That would be the preliminary guess,” Hurley said. “But it’s just a guess. There was no obvious trauma or cause of death that was obvious to us, nothing that would be fatal. It’s a suspicion at this point.”

His last Tweet was on Wednesday evening, according to his Twitter account.

Douglas was one of the nation’s top 2011 recruits out of junior college this past year, signing with Alabama in December. He enrolled at Alabama in January.

He was from the Knoxville, Tenn., area and began his college career at Tennessee, earning freshman All-America honors in 2009.  More on his background from the Knoxville News:

Douglas blossomed on the offensive line as a freshman under Lane Kiffin after signing originally with Phillip Fulmer, and the possibility of another coaching transition never seemed to appeal to him in early 2010. He later admitted to battling depression after parting ways with UT and Dooley, who stipulated Douglas transfer at least eight hours away from home as part of the separation from the program.

Douglas fulfilled his end of the deal at Arizona Western College then signed with Alabama, a school that would have given him two games against the Vols before his collegiate career ended.

Story developing

97 comments Add your comment

tdawgpa

May 12th, 2011
2:53 pm

First and horrible

Bob Loblaw

May 12th, 2011
2:57 pm

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
2:59 pm

As a parent, I could think of no worse nightmare! Bless him and his family!!!!!!

SCGamecock

May 12th, 2011
3:06 pm

Prayers going out to the Douglas and Crimson Tide family.

LC Dawg

May 12th, 2011
3:10 pm

Thoughts and prayers go out to the Alabama community, no matter how annoying and obsessed their are with the UGA O-Line.

ESPN classless

May 12th, 2011
3:10 pm

I would encourage every college fan in here to BOYCOTT ESPN.com after what ESPN’s Albert Lin wrote …

http://mobile.atlanta.sbnation.com/georgia-bulldogs/2011/5/12/2167827/aaron-douglas-dies-alabama-tennessee

TO EMAIL A COMPLAINT ….. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?id=2826900

ATL Fan

May 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

How very sad. Prayers for the family and those impacted by his death.

LC Dawg

May 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

cantondawg

May 12th, 2011
3:12 pm

I feel so sorry for this young man and family…Coach Dooley sounds like a sleazebag making this kid transfer at least 8 hours away from his hom

Dbalcer

May 12th, 2011
3:15 pm

Praying for his family I can’t begin to imagine their pain.

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
3:20 pm

@cantondawg

I agree. He’s done that with a couple of players and then wouldn’t give an unconditional release to that stud RB who wanted to go back home to Kansas. I think his name was Bryce Brown and will start for K-State this year. He sure doesn’t seem to take after his father!!!!!!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 12th, 2011
3:21 pm

Prayers to the family during this difficult time. Dooley really should do some soul searching if in fact he new that the young man had some issues with depression and enacted a rule that made him transfer so far away from his family and support group. Lets hope that is not the case, but in the meantime my thoughts are with the family.

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
3:25 pm

@ The rest of us

Are you kidding me! What kind of person are you!!!!!!!!

40capt

May 12th, 2011
3:29 pm

UGA fans are really obsessed w/ finding ways to criticize DD. The kid didn’t have to leave, he chose to. He didn’t have to go 8 hrs away, could have gone anywhere he chose, just couldn’t do it on scholly right away. There were no restrictions on where he could go to juco and he chose Arizona, doesn’t sound to me like his priority was being close to home.

kb

May 12th, 2011
3:29 pm

Prayers for his family.

suwaneedawg

May 12th, 2011
3:30 pm

Prayers to the family and to Alabama nation.
The Rest of Us, you are going to hell. Just thought you would like to know.

Vinman

May 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

How can you blame Dooley for this? Are you guys serious!? The kid wanted a fresh start and had to go the Juco route and/or sit out a year regardless if Tennessee granted him a release. This is a terrible tragedy for the Douglas family, and fans from both Alabama and Tennessee. We can always count on certain Georgia fans to chime in show us some real class.

Beast from the East

May 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

Bama has had more tragedy this year than any program I can remember in a long time. Stay strong.

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
3:34 pm

@40capt

after parting ways with UT and Dooley, who stipulated Douglas transfer at least eight hours away from home as part of the separation from the program.

You want to re-think your post!!!!!!!!!!

Red Grange

May 12th, 2011
3:35 pm

Poor kid, now that he’d made the big time. Love to his family from a Bama man.

Gamecock s.e.c. East Champs 2010-2015

May 12th, 2011
3:36 pm

@ the rest of us u an idiot

Tideman

May 12th, 2011
3:36 pm

@ The Rest of Us…… You must be a ” sad individual” . I am sure all other Dawg fans would not claim you nor want you pulling for their team. You are sick !!!

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
3:37 pm

@ Vinman

I am not blaming Dooley for this kids death, I am blaming him for being an insensitive prick and to not just let the kid go somewhere else without conditions.

40capt

May 12th, 2011
3:38 pm

@schmeckdawg- no I’ll stand by my post, if being near family was such a priority then why did he go to juco in Arizona when he left UT?

MisterTwister

May 12th, 2011
3:41 pm

R/E the “eight hour” requirement…
Dooly is a lawyer. That says something…

RxDawg

May 12th, 2011
3:42 pm

That’s awful… much too young.

GeoffDawg

May 12th, 2011
3:44 pm

Feel terrible for this player and his family but that type of stipulation from Coach Dooley is not unusual. If I’m not mistaken, if you leave an ACC school, you can’t sign with another one unless you’re willing to sit out two full years. I don’t think this was in any way personal against this kid.

Vick=Dog killing Thug

May 12th, 2011
3:47 pm

Sad story, my thoughts to his family

Wonderful Ohio on the Gulf 'Dog

May 12th, 2011
3:47 pm

Requiescat in pace.

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
3:47 pm

@40capt

Okay

The rest of us

May 12th, 2011
3:49 pm

Feel terrible for his parents and everyone that knew him. However, I don’t know him and if I lamented over every kid that dies on a daily basis it would be a sad, sad existence. If you knew him personally, I’m sorry for your loss. If you’re just a fan, you shouldn’t take yourself too serious.

Vinman

May 12th, 2011
3:50 pm

Schmeckdawg…..He found a home at a great University and had an excellent spring practice. Your thoughts and prayers should be with his family.

Red

May 12th, 2011
3:50 pm

Thoughts and prayers for his family. He’s had issues with depression. From a fan during his days in Knoxville.

rduck

May 12th, 2011
3:51 pm

My sincere prayers are with this young man, his family and the Alabama community. As for Dooley, I’m not sure why the “8 hour rule” would even be put in with his release. Doesn’t make sense. I can see maybe not tranferring to a team he plays against but to say the kid can’t play in a location around his home and family really stinks.

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
3:56 pm

Vinman

May 12th, 2011
3:50 pm
Schmeckdawg…..He found a home at a great University and had an excellent spring practice. Your thoughts and prayers should be with his family.

Believe me, they are! Please read my post from 2:59 today.

Jeff

May 12th, 2011
3:56 pm

Terrible news… as a Dawg fan, I feel badly for this kid, his family, and the Alabama fans… god bless you during this tough time. I am sure it was a shock to the Bama nation.

As for some of you being so critical of Derek Dooley… you don’t know what you’re talking about. I have FIRST HAND knowledge of how Dooley has bent over backwards to help some kids at UT this past year… some of them are still with the program, some of them chose to leave. He is trying to instill some discipline and standards up there in Knoxville after the previous coach was letting things run crazy up there.

As for his stipulation… that is COMMON among college football coaches. Some don’t grant releases at ALL and make a kid languish in some place he doesn’t want to be. So this is not a UT thing or a Dooley thing, it’s common practice among many coaches. And I have heard reports about a kid who was hurt at Tennessee two years ago and was scared to death that Dooley would get rid of him, but DD kept him because he wanted to see him finish school and get his degree.

A college football coach cannot be 100 percent responsible for 100 percent of his players and 100 percent of their actions. Fans are quick to find a person to blame for tragic situations, but often times, there IS nobody to point the finger at… sometimes things are just tragic and can’t be explained.

From what I heard from Bama fans, this kid was looking forward to playing for the Crimson Tide and the coaches were expecting him to be a big part of the O-Line. I know this is a terribly difficult situation to deal with, and our thoughts and prayers should be with this kid’s family, and all his friends — both at Tennessee AND at Alabama.

Dink

May 12th, 2011
3:56 pm

I’m shocked and saddened with this news. I’d heard good reports out of the Tide camp that he had been working really hard since his arrival in Tuscaloosa and could possibly win a starting position, just tragic. Thoughts and prayers go out to Aaaron’s family.

LC Dawg

May 12th, 2011
3:57 pm

the rest of us,

Sometimes, people are a lot better off not saying what is on their mind, as opposed to spewing it out.

You are a prime example of this case.

While I cannot say you are wrong, I certainly cannot say you are right.

Do yourself/us a favor and make that your last post on this topic.

Thanks.

Vinman

May 12th, 2011
3:58 pm

Schmeckdawg…I’m with you. This one hit home.

BiggdawgK

May 12th, 2011
3:59 pm

Whatever the reason for this kid’s death it is a tragedy. The thoughts and prayers of myself and I’m sure all caring individuals in Dawgnation as well as everywhere else go out to his friends and family.

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
3:59 pm

Vinman

May 12th, 2011
3:58 pm
Schmeckdawg…I’m with you. This one hit home.

Vinman, as a parent of a 27 and 25 year old it most definitely did. Everytime my phone rings in the middle of the night, my heart jumps into my throat. I pray that I will never receive a phone call like the one his parents got.

DawginLex

May 12th, 2011
4:02 pm

Parents shouldn’t bury their kids. Kids should bury their parents.

Sad thing.

Red

May 12th, 2011
4:05 pm

It was not about leaving to be near home. Clearly people like Schmeck are ill informed and show a lack of intelligence before making statements. The guy battled depression. His parents rode him about being like them and being a UT alumnus. He felt the pressure and could not live up to it. He didn’t feel like he could stay and wanted out. Dooley tried to work with him but understands pressure from parents in sports. As the immediate release, he could not go within the 8 hour limit. Dooley would not have said this if the issue was about being close to home – hence him going to AZ as a transfer. AZ is quite the distance if it were about being close to family don’t you think? He spent a year out there and transferred back.

Try to think out the facts before making stupid comments. I know you folks up the street from me have some sick fetish about Dooley but please don’t hang the faults on him that do not belong. Perhaps your anger needs to be directed at your own team where top talent goes to waste…Washout Ealey is a great example.

BiggdawgK

May 12th, 2011
4:06 pm

In the rush to condemn and berate every move that CMR makes, I think many fans of UGA forget what a classy and thoughtful individual Richt is on so many levels. His unconditional release of Ealey this week shows he does not let petty selfish fears of what a player may do in a hypothetical future game get in the way as most college coaches do.

Old Dawg

May 12th, 2011
4:09 pm

As someone who has lost an only child, I have complete sympathy for what they are going through, and will continue to experience, for the remainder of their lives.

Regardless of the cause – my son died of leukemia – there are never enough words to fully explain what happened. But prayers, faith, friends and family will make life much more comforting.

Charlie Hayes

May 12th, 2011
4:10 pm

I agree BiggdawgK. Even look at Mettenburger. If UGA wins the SEC-E there is a good chance that they will meet Mettenburger in December at the Dome. Does it bother CMR? Nope. He was glad to see Mettenburger get another chance after messing up his life while at UGA. I hope to see a Murray-Mettenburger showdown myself!

schmeckdawg

May 12th, 2011
4:11 pm

@ Jeff

If I am not mistaken, I do not believe that Coach Richt has ever put a condition on where a kid could or could not play after he left the UGA. As a matter of fact, and again, if I am not wrong, I think CMR has always gone out of his way to help a former player(s) find a home wherever he chooses. I do not see that with Dooley! Go back to my comment about the conditions he put on Bryce Brown when he wanted to go back home to Kansas. Why if the kid wanted to go back home to Kansas and Dooley’s team will never play them while the kid is in school, would he put conditions on his transferring. They are kids, let them go and wish them good luck. Do not punish them because they’ve hurt your feelings!

Mark

May 12th, 2011
4:11 pm

Wow what an untimely death.. God bless the the Douglas family and Tide Nation. I’m a huge Georgia fan, but SEC rivals doesn’t matter in this situation. Having four children of my own I can’t imagine having to bury any of them. Rest in Peace young man.

Dink

May 12th, 2011
4:12 pm

Old Dawg, I am really sorry to hear that. Just hard to comprehend what that must be like. Prayers for you as well.

Mark

May 12th, 2011
4:15 pm

God bless you and your family Old Dawg!!!