University of Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock, 20, and the school's football recruiter Chandler LeCroy, 24, were killed Sunday in a car accident, the Washington Examiner reported. The tragedy occurred just a day after the team was honored at a parade for its National Championship victory.
"The entire Georgia family is devastated by the tragic loss of football student-athlete Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy," the university said in a statement. "Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program, and our athletic department."
"We ask that everyone keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time," the statement added. Two others who were also connected with the school's football program were injured in the crash as well.
The other victims have not been named, but they were reportedly a 21-year-old male and a 26-year-old female. Both were taken to the hospital and were in stable condition, The New York Times reported.
Athens-Clarke County Police Department responded to the scene of the single-vehicle accident at 2:45 a.m. Sunday. LeCroy was driving the 2021 Ford Expedition that plowed into a series of trees and two power poles.
LeCroy was transported to a local hospital but later succumbed to her injuries. Willock was pronounced dead at the scene.
Just the day before, Willock and his team, the Georgia Bulldogs, were honored for their championship win with a parade. Team members rode in pickup truck beds and perched on the backs of convertibles.
Exuberant fans cheered, and some of the players signed autographs. Willock was part of the festivities as a redshirt sophomore who made a solid showing for his team.
The 335-pound 6-foot-7 from New Milford, N.J., was the team's right guard for two games. He had played in all 15 matchups and helped his team clinch this year's championship for a back-to-back victory.
"Devin was an outstanding young man in every way and was always smiling," a statement from Bulldog's coach Kirby Smart said of the young man. "He was a great teammate and a joy to coach."
Smart also remembered LeCroy, who had been with the University of Georgia's athletic department since 2019 and became a part-time recruiting analyst in May 2021. "Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude every single day," Smart said.
Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett also reminisced fondly about the pair. "Dev made me feel safe. Chandler made me feel happy," he wrote on Instagram.
"The pain will fade but that won’t so I smile when I cry. Just wish I could hug them again," Bennett said.
To lose these two young people in the prime of their lives is heartbreaking. However, this crash coming after such a moment of triumph is especially devastating.