Alabama football is paying its respects to the family of a 12-year-old boy who recently died from a gunshot wound.
According to WPLG 10 News — the ABC affiliate in Miami, Fla., — the team recently gifted the family of John Jones a Crimson Tide football and jersey both signed by starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Per the WPLG report, the family intends to bury both the football and jersey with Jones. The words “Roll Tide!” and “Rest Easy, Buddy!” could be seen written by Taogvailoa on the jersey.
Jones, who resided in Phenix City, Ala., was shot in the head while playing with another juvenile on Friday, Oct. 4 and died two days later at an Atlanta-area hospital, per multiple reports.
Phenix City police are investigating the case as a homicide, per the reports. The incident reportedly occurred after when Jones didn’t want to part with his bike when at the residence of the other juvenile.
Alabama football travels to Texas A&M in Week 7 as SEC play continues. The Crimson Tide enters the matchup as the No. 1 team in the country with a perfect 5-0 start to the season. Alabama has defeated Texas A&M every season since being upset by the Aggies at home in 2012 — the season that Texas A&M joined the conference after spending 16 years in the Big 12.
Tagovailoa is in his second full season as Alabama’s starting quarterback. The junior, who first rose to prominence after subbing and leading the team to a comeback victory over Georgia in the 2017 national title game, led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated regular season in 2018. Taogvailoa and Alabama proceeded to defeat Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinals to send the Crimson Tide to its fifth-consecutive national title game appearance, but the team was defeated by Clemson for the third time in three seasons.
Through five games of the 2019 campaign, Tagovailoa has passed for 1,783 yards and 23 touchdowns with zero interceptions. Tagovailoa’s passing touchdown count leads the nation, while he ranks fourth in passing yards.