JACKSONVILLE, FL (WVLT) -- Multiple sources have confirmed to Volunteer TV that former Tennessee and Maryville High School football player Aaron Douglas has been found dead in Jacksonville, Fla.
The University of Alabama has also confirmed Douglas' death.
The Fernandina Police Department said witnesses told them Douglas reportedly was taking a taxi cab to Jacksonville Thursday night when he was apparently contacted by two local women and invited to a party.
He arrived at the party by cab at approximately 11:00 PM – 11:30 PM and was seen at the residence as late as 2:00 AM. A man who lived at the home and several others found Douglas apparently dead on a second floor balcony when they awoke Thursday morning and notified police.
The cause of death is pending.
He traveled to the Florida city Tuesday, according to tweets on his personal account.
Douglas tweeted twice around midnight the night before he was found dead.
He tweeted at 12am this morning, "Bout to kick it with my new friends Emily!!"
A minute later he tweeted, "Who's still up right now?!?"
The Freshman All-American played his high school ball in Maryville under coach George Quarles.
After a standout season at Tennessee he requested a transfer from then first year coach Derek Dooley, who granted it on the condition that Douglas play at a school at least 8 hours away from Tennessee.
Douglas agreed and played a season at Arizona Western College, then signed with Alabama the following season.
From Directors of Athletics Mike Hamilton and Joan Cronan
“We are saddened to hear the news regarding the passing of Aaron Douglas. Our thoughts and prayers are with David and Karla Douglas and their family during this difficult time.”
From head football coach Derek Dooley
“No one can understand the pain that a family must endure after the loss of a child. My prayers go out to David and Karla and everyone who was close to Aaron.”
"It is a tragedy anytime you lose someone close to you and even more so when it is a member of your family," said Alabama football coach Nick Saban. "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.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, David and Karla, who are two of the best people you will ever meet and the love they had for their son was something very special. As a father, there is nothing we can say to describe the loss of a son. Our Alabama family has sustained a tragic loss and the Alabama family is grieving that loss. We will be here to support Aaron’s family in any way we can."
Aaron's father, David, started for Vols in the mid-1980s. His mother, Karla Horton Douglas, started three seasons for Lady Vols basketball, including head coach Pat Summitt's first national championship team.
After hearing the news, Lane Kiffin tweeted, "Just heard horrible news of tragic incident w/ Aaron Douglas. He was a great kid w/ a huge heart. My thoughts r w/ David & Karla."
Former Tennessee teammates reacted on Twitter throughout the afternoon:
cwalk8432 Chris Walker
"RIP to my boy Aaron Douglas! Life is too short people! Realize everyday is precious and Live everyday like its your last!"
Mr_J_Shaw Jarrod Shaw
"Damn RIP AD always will be #VFL"
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.