As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and the upcoming Iron Bowl the Alabama Athletics department mourns the loss of one of its own. Former Alabama linebacker and NASCAR pit-crew member, William "Rowdy" Harrell, 30, and his wife, Blakley, 23, were tragically killed on Tuesday in an automobile accident in the Florida Keys.

"On a sad note, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Rowdy Harrell, who was a walk-on player here, a linebacker from 09-12, he also worked in the weight room a little bit for us. A fine young man, and certainly our condolences to his family. You hate to somebody who has such great future and potential have something like this happen," said Alabama coach Nick Saban during his Wednesday press conference. 

Harrell walked on for the Crimson Tide as a native of Moundville, Alabama, he won three national championships during his time as an athlete at the Capstone and graduated with a degree in human performance and exercise science. He spent some time in the Alabama weight room before being working in NASCAR.

Harrell had been a team member of Hendrick Motorsports for the last eight seasons, most recently as a tire carrier for the No. 88 Cup Series driver Alex Bowman. Additionally, he won two Xfinity Series championships as a member of JR Motorsports.

Harrell and his wife were in Florida to celebrate their honeymoon, the couple was married this past Saturday.

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