The Tennessee football community received heartbreaking news this week involving LaDarrell McNeil. The former Volunteers defensive back passed away at the age of 27.
McNeil appeared in 47 games for the Volunteers, racking up 219 total tackles, nine pass breakups, five interceptions and two forced fumbles. A neck injury kept him out of action for some time, but the Dallas native proved throughout his college career that he was resilient.
On Friday morning, Tennessee football confirmed that McNeil passed away with a social media post. So far, no official cause of death has been reported.
“We are mourning the loss of VFL LaDarrell McNeil,” the Volunteers said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and his teammates. LaDarrell will be dearly missed.”
We are mourning the loss of VFL LaDarrell McNeil.
Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and his teammates. LaDarrell will be dearly missed. pic.twitter.com/CQh2zfusgR
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) July 9, 2021
Former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs offered his condolences on Twitter, writing “Shocked and saddened to hear the news of LaDarrell’s passing. Immediate thoughts are for his family.”
Tennessee cornerbacks coach Willie Martinez also had a heartfelt message for McNeil on social media. He coached McNeil for three years.
“I loved coaching LaDarrell McNeil he was a young man of high character, good teammate, one the toughest & most physical players I’ve had the privilege to coach,” Martinez wrote. “Thankful and blessed to have been apart of his life. RIP.”
Our thoughts are with the McNeil family during this difficult time.