On Wednesday night, the Alabama football family was rocked by the death of a former player.
William “Rowdy” Harrell and his wife, Blakley, died in a car accident on the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys. The couple were on their honeymoon.
Harrell, known as Rowdy, was a walk-on member of the Crimson Tide football program where he played for head coach Nick Saban from 2009-12.
On his weekly radio show, Saban paid tribute to his former player.
Here’s what he said, via 247Sports:
“Rowdy was the epitome of what (walk-ons) stand for — he’s a hard worker, he had great character,” said Saban on his weekly call-in radio show. “He actually stayed because we wanted to make him a part of the organization. He stayed and worked in the weight room with Scott Cochran for a little while when he got finished playing.
“But man, our thoughts and prayers are out to him and his family and friends. We just absolutely hate it when anybody that’s been a part of our family here has such a tragedy. I know it’s very difficult for them to deal with because he had so much potential as a young person.”
Following his college football career, Harrell went onto a career in NASCAR.
Before his passing, Harrell had been working as a pitman for Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 88 team.
Our thoughts are with the Harrell family.