The news broke in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

By the evening, the entire Alabama football program and more had heard.

During Wednesday's weekly media availability, Alabama coach Nick Saban, as well as players Denzel Devall and Cam Robinson, addressed the passing of former Crimson Tide running back Altee Tenpenny for the first time in front of a live audience.

"I'd just like to take a minute to express our deepest gratitude and sympathies for Altee Tenpenny and his family," Saban said during his opening statement. "Altee was a part of our family here and is special to a lot of people and good friends with a lot of our players.

"I did have the opportunity to visit with his mother today and express the entire university and our organization’s condolences to their family. Our thoughts and prayers and certainly with Altee and his family."

"We tried to come out today with practice and focus on what we were supposed to focus on," Robinson said. "But it was obviously tough, losing one of our brothers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family right now."

Devall didn't initially believe the news when linebacker Reggie Ragland called him around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

"I was halfway asleep. I'm thinking, I really didn't believe it," Devall said. "So I went to sleep and woke up about 5 and that's when it really hit me. I really couldn't believe it. It just seemed so surreal."

According to’s Luke Matheson, Tenpenny was driving back to his hometown of North Little Rock, Arkansas from Thibodaux, Louisiana, home of Nicholls State, where the running back most recently played, when the accident occurred.

Tenpenny, who transferred to UNLV in May before landing at Nicholls State in August, remained popular among Alabama players, even after his departure. He met up with several of his former teammates when he visited Tuscaloosa on Oct. 10, the day of Alabama's homecoming game against Arkansas.

"I was telling everyone in the locker room today, we’re all brothers," Devall said. "We’re around each other 24-7. Just to see one of your brothers gone it’s going to hurt your heart."

Devall added that he told teammates to "remember the good times" they shared with Tenpenny. For the senior, who arrived at Alabama a year before Tenpenny in 2012, he will remember him for his infectious personality.

"Big smile, dimples," Devall said, grinning in his own right. "I never really saw him down. No matter what he was going through, he was always smiling, clowning. You would never know what was going on, if he was mad or not. He was just always smiling. It's crazy."

Saban's condolences for Tenpenny begin around the 1:19 mark in the above video.

Devall and Robinson's remarks about their former teammate begin around the 0:18 and 2:23 marks in the below videos, respectively.

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