Commitment and Devotion: Buckeyes and Saints remember Will Smith

As Who Dat Nation, fans and friends of slain former Ohio State Buckeye Will Smith began to pick up the pieces from an awful chain of events yesterday, this photo scrolled past my Facebook timeline.

Will was booked to be a celebrity host and chef for The Ohio State University’s Alumni Club of Greater New Orleans, also known as the Cajun Buckeyes, annual crawfish boil. Will was generous as far as lending his time and resources to better the lives of others.

Former Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel spoke yesterday regarding Will’s spirit.

“Will personified humility, caring and selflessness. A great family man above all else,” Tressel said. “As for his senior year, he truly did love his teammates and Ohio State. He also had the humility to listen closely to the wishes of his grandma, who really wanted him to finish his OSU commitment.”

Smith graduated from The Ohio State University in 2005 with a degree in Criminology.

Smith was shot and killed early Sunday morning as he and wife Racquel were returning home after a day at the French Quarter Festival.

Former teammates and friends of Smith reached out and expressed their emotions on social media. Saints running back Mark Ingram issued his remarks on Twitter, “Devastated. Lord please be with the Smith family at this tragic time. Nonsense man…”

Meanwhile, Saints quarterback Drew Brees offered his condolences on Twitter.
“Mourning the loss of a great friend and teammate, Will Smith. Such a senseless tragedy. Please pray for Racquel and their children.”

Saints owners Tom and Gayle Benson issued a statement which read:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Will and his wife Racquel, but more importantly with their children, William, Wynter and Lisa who are suffering and just starting to realize and deal with an unimaginable loss,” said Tom and Gayle Benson. “We are devastated and saddened by Will’s tragic and preventable death due to a senseless act that will leave a lasting scar on our community forever. Will was more than an exceptional football player he was a father, a husband, a son, a brother and teammate to so many and an inspiration to countless more. He will be greatly missed by all those he touched and impacted both on and off the football field and his legacy will continue to shine. The Saints family is hurting and devastated as it has lost a member too young and too soon.”

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