Two people were killed and another injured after a car crash early Sunday morning that has rocked the University of Georgia. One of the deceased includes a championship-winning offensive lineman, who just hours earlier was celebrating decimating TCU in the national title game.
Offensive lineman Devin Willock, 20, and staff member Chandler LeCroy, 24, a recruiting coordinator, were both killed when their car left the road at around 2:45am and crashed into several powerlines and trees.
The University of Georgia released a heartfelt statement in the wake of their community’s sudden loss.
“The entire Georgia family is devastated by the tragic loss of football student-athlete Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy,” the statement said. “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 UGA Athletic Association will work with our medical team as well as our mental health and performance personnel to make sure we are providing the best support possible for our staff and student-athletes who are processing this grief,” it continued. “We can provide no further comment at this time.”
Head coach Kirby Smart also shared an emotional response to hearing about the loss of both a teammate and members of the Bulldog community.
“We are all heartbroken and devastated with the loss of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy,” he said. “Devin was an outstanding young man in every way and was always smiling. He was a great teammate and a joy to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day. We grieve with their families for this tragic loss and will support them in every way possible.”
Authorities also said a male passenger, 21, sustained minor injuries while a female passenger, 26, sustained more serious injuries. Both are listed in stable condition, though no further information has yet been provided.
Willock was coming off back-to-back national titles for the Georgia Bulldogs, who played in one of the most lopsided championship games of all time. The favored Bulldogs crushed runner-up Texas Christian University by a score of 65-7.
CBS wrote of the victory:
Georgia turned in one of the all-time beatdowns in a game that decided a national title, reminiscent of Nebraska running over Florida by 38 in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, USC’s 36-point rout of Oklahoma in the 2005 Orange Bowl and Alabama’s 28-point BCS championship blowout over Notre Dame in 2013.
CBS added that no team has ever scored more points in a championship game since the format was changed in 1998. No team has won consecutive titles since Nick Saban’s Alabama during their monstrous FBS run just a few years ago.
It seems safe to say that after back-to-back titles and an undefeated 16-0 season that Georgia is now the big dog in the SEC.
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