Aaron Douglas, a 2009 freshman All-American at the University of Tennessee, was found dead Thursday in Fernandina Beach, Fla.
The cause of death was not immediately known. According to a police release, he was seen as late as 2 a.m. (EDT). Police responded to a call at 8:13 a.m., and Douglas was pronounced dead at the scene, a second-floor balcony.
Douglas, who enrolled at the University of Alabama earlier this year, was 21.
"It is a tragedy anytime you lose someone close to you and even more so when it is a member of your family," Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a statement. "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.”
Douglas enrolled at Alabama for the spring semester and took part in spring football drills with the Crimson Tide.
He was a two-time Tennessee Class 4A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year as a tight end at Maryville High School. He went to Tennessee and redshirted in 2008, Phil Fulmer’s final year as coach.
Douglas played all 13 games with 10 starts as a tackle in 2009. He transferred to Western Arizona Community College following the departure of coach Lane Kiffin and earned junior college All-America recognition in 2010.
His parents, David and Karla, were athletes at UT as well. David was a Volunteers’ offensive lineman in the 1980s and his mother, the former Karla Horton, started three seasons for the women’s basketball team and was a member of the Lady Vols’ first national championship team.
"No one can understand the pain that a family must endure after the loss of a child,” current UT coach Derek Dooley said in a statement from the university. “My prayers go out to David and Karla and everyone who was close to Aaron."