Former Tennessee DB LaDarrell McNeil Dies at Age 27

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 9, 2021

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20, 2012:  Defensive back LaDarrell McNeil #33 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the conference matchup between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 20, 2012. (Photo by Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics/Collegiate Images via Getty Images)
Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

The University of Tennessee football team announced Friday former Volunteers defensive back LaDarrell McNeil has died at the age of 27.

Tennessee Football @Vol_Football

We are mourning the loss of VFL LaDarrell McNeil.<br><br>Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and his teammates. LaDarrell will be dearly missed. <a href="https://t.co/CQh2zfusgR">pic.twitter.com/CQh2zfusgR</a>

No further details about McNeil's death were immediately released.

McNeil was a four-year starter for the Vols from 2012 through 2015 following a standout career at Wilmer-Hutchins High School in Dallas that led him to become a 4-star recruit.

The safety recorded 219 total tackles, 14 passes defended, five interceptions and two forced fumbles across 47 appearances for UT. One of his picks came in the Volunteers' victory over Iowa in the Taxslayer Bowl at the end of his junior season in 2014.

Several of McNeil's former teammates and coaches posted condolences on social media:

Brian Randolph @Randyboy37

"Wherever two or three gather as my followers, there I Am among them", says The Lord. Ladarrell was the realest safety I ever played with and an even better person. Although it hurts that you're gone, I find comfort in knowing you are with Our Father. <a href="https://t.co/vfKXllqnNF">pic.twitter.com/vfKXllqnNF</a>

Josh Dobbs @josh_dobbs1

Shocked and saddened to hear the news of LaDarrell’s passing. Immediate thoughts are for his family. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RIP</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LaDarrellM_33?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LaDarrellM_33</a> 💔🍊

Willie Martinez @CoachWMartinez

I loved coaching LaDarrell McNeil he was a young man of high character, good teammate, one the toughest &amp; most physical players I’ve had the privilege to coach. Thankful &amp; blessed to have been apart of his life. RIP 🙏🏽 <a href="https://t.co/CD91zpDX01">pic.twitter.com/CD91zpDX01</a>

Trevor Daniel @TrevorDaniel93

Rest In Peace LD💔🙏🏼 <a href="https://t.co/3Y0pXG2gi7">https://t.co/3Y0pXG2gi7</a>

His accolades while at Tennessee included a selection to the 2012 Freshman All-SEC Team.

McNeil wasn't selected in the 2016 NFL draft and didn't go on to play professionally.