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Former Alabama Player And Coach Jack Rutledge Has Died

Multiple Alabama football helmets laying on the ground.

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Alabama Crimson Tide helmets lay on the ground with in confetti after the game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Former Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Jack Rutledge, a member of the team's first Bear Bryant-led national championship squad, has passed away.

According to 247Sports, Rutledge died on Thursday after a battle with cancer and dementia.

The news has already brought reactions from a variety of people who knew and met with him:

Rutledge was recruited by Alabama head coach Jennings Whitworth in 1957, but real on-field success when the team hired Bear Bryant in 1958.

Though he played running back and won two state championships in as a high school athlete in Alabama, Rutledge transitioned to offensive lineman and linebacker in college.

He was a starting offensive guard in 1961 when the Crimson Tide went 11-0 en route to a Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas and culminating in the school's first title under the legendary coach.

Following Rutledge's graduation, he briefly coached high school football and later joined Bryant's coaching staff until Bryant retired in 1982.

During his time on Bryant's staff, Rutledge coached offensive linemen and special teams.