It was supposed to be a fun and relaxing day for the Oregon Duck football squad. A tradition that takes place every year, members of the team take a trip to McKenzie River to go floating for the day.
Just eight weeks ago, though, that tradition turned into tradegy. Todd Doxey, 19, died after drowning in the river.
The Oregon football community, as well as everyone that knew Doxey, was stunned. Doxey, who redshirted last year, was expected to see significant playing time, even in the loaded secondary of All-American and All Pac-10 performers.
Unfortunately, Doxey never got to see any game action. He promised his grandmother that one day he would run out of the tunnel in Autzen Stadium, and feel the rush that came along with playing football for the Ducks.
Instead, Doxey was laid to rest in front of 3,000 people who wished to share their prayers with his family.
Just as his relatives had promised, though, they were in Eugene, Oregon for the Ducks home opener against the Washington Huskies, but nothing could take their minds off the real reason they made the trip: to see the McKenzie River.
Doxey wore No. 29, and as a tribute to his fallen teammate and friend, All-American safety Patrick Chung donned that number in the Washington game. Chung isn't the only player who will wear the jersey this year. In fact, each week, a new Duck will get the honor to place that No. 29 green and gold jersey across their chest.
One of the brightest and most capable students on the entire Oregon roster, Doxey came from a beat-up neighborhood to post a 3.5 GPA at his first year in Eugene.
Aside from football, Todd's life was all about community service. He met with children with disabilities, but also made sure he stayed in touch with those back in his native San Diego.
For what his grandmother described as a miraculous journey from the streets to FBS football, it's all too sad to think that Doxey's dream of not only playing in front of the Duck faithful, but also donning a business suit and tie will never be realized.
Chung, the first to wear his No. 29, was also the first to make contact with the Ducks' coaching staff to relay the horrific news. When secondary coach John Neal hesistantly asked what the nature of Doxey's accident was, Chung could only respond, "It is really bad."
Random witnesses began giving Doxey CPR until the ambulance arrived, but according to the doctors, Doxey was essentially dead in the water.
It was a fateful day, but this season, the Ducks are playing their hearts out for Doxey. This bunch of players will never forget Todd, and his charasmatic nature.
These players will take this season by one short motto, "T.D. RIP".
Many facts and stories from this article were originally written and researched by Jason King, a college football writer for Yahoo! Sports. If you would like to see his article, here it is: Oregon works to honor Doxey as season opens
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