Alabama Pays Homage to Sam Westmoreland
Prior to the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday, a moment of silence was held in Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was held in remembrance of 18-year-old Sam Westmoreland, a Mississippi State offensive lineman who tragically passed away on Wednesday.
Westmoreland, a walk-on hailing from Tupelo, Miss., was found dead at a church just two days before his 19th birthday on October 19. Mississippi State issued a statement the same day.
"The Mississippi State Athletics Family is heartbroken by the sudden death of Sam Westmoreland. Sam was a beloved son, brother and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future. He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him. The entire MSU Family mourns as our thoughts and prayers go out to the Westmoreland family. Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time," said the statement from head coach Mike Leach.
Mississippi State players wore white stickers that read "SW 78" on their helmets for their game against Alabama.
A number of other teams have shown their support for Westmoreland and his family in some manner since the news broke.The Mississippi State women's soccer team wore white tape with Westmoreland's number, 78, written on them Friday when they played Alabama.
Tupelo High School, Westmoreland's alma mater, wore a white sticker that read "Sam" at their game Friday.
The Missouri Tigers and Vanderbilt Commodores each wore helmet stickers in remembrance of Westmoreland.