Details are still coming in this afternoon, but at least two radio outlets in Knoxville are reporting terrible news for SEC football: Aaron Douglas, a former Tennessee offensive lineman who just wrapped a year at an Arizona JUCO before transferring to Alabama, has died of unspecified causes in Jacksonville, Fla. [UPDATE: The Knoxville News-Sentinel's PrepXtra has confirmed news of Douglas' passing with his former high school coach, George Quarles.]
A hometown boy from powerhouse Maryville High School (just across town from Neyland Stadium), Douglas had an impeccable Tennessee pedigree as the son of a Vols offensive lineman and Lady Vols basketball player. He redshirted his first year at UT in 2008, moving from tight end to lineman before working his way up to starting right tackle in 2009, where he earned Freshman All-America honors.
Douglas left the Vols in 2010, after the team's second consecutive coaching change, citing a diagnosis of depression, and played for a year at Arizona Western Community College in Yuma. Rated a four-star Rivals prospect, he signed with Alabama in November 2010, and promptly got himself arrested for DUI back in his hometown. He remained on the roster for the Crimson Tide, however, and was last seen on the field scrimmaging with the second team in the 2011 A-Day game while recovering from foot surgery.
Douglas' Twitter account, @80Fresh, indicates he was in Jacksonville this week, but offers no hints that anything was amiss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Douglas family, and the Tennessee and Alabama football communities.