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A Legendary College Football Player Has Passed Away

An interior view of the Texas Longhorns stadium.

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: A general view taken during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the Rice Owls on September 22, 2007 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas won 58-14. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

A legendary college football player has unfortunately passed away today.

Julius Whittier, the first African-American athlete to letter at the University of Texas' football program, has died.

Texas announced the sad news on Twitter this afternoon.

From Texas:

A San Antonio native and 1969 Highland High School graduate, Whittier was the Longhorns' first African-American athlete to letter in football and among the first African Americans to receive a football scholarship when he came to UT in 1969.

A three-year letterman and member of three straight Southwest Conference Championship teams (1970-72), Whittier played offensive tackle for the National Champion Longhorns in 1970 and 1971 before moving to tight end for his senior season in 1972. In his three years as a letterman, UT posted a 28-5 record, including a 20-1 mark in the SWC. In the 1972 season, Texas finished with a 10-1 record, a No. 3 national ranking, and capped off that year with a 17-13 upset victory over No. 4 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl.

Following an undergraduate degree in philosophy, Whittier went on to earn a graduate degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 1976, and later completed his law degree at Texas. For much of his career, he worked as a senior prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney's office before retiring in 2012. He earned a spot in the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2013 and, this past August, was inducted into the San Antonio Independent School District Hall of Fame.

Rest in peace, Julius.