As much as I was hoping this would all turn out to be another ridiculous Twitter fueled rumor, but the reputable sources (Josh Ward, Greg McElroy, Go Vols X and the Knoxville News) are piling up now, with GVX and the Knoxville New quoting his former HS Coach:
Former Rebels coach George Quarles texted the following message to the News Sentinel on Thursday: "Yes he is dead I cannot talk right now but am deeply saddened by this tragedy."
There is still no confirmation from Alabama and the Jacksonville PD have refused to comment, so at this point there's nothing much we can say on the situation other than our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and ask y'all to please respect them in the comments by offering sympathy instead of speculation.
UPDATE: Alabama has released a statement.
"It is a tragedy anytime you lose someone close to you and even more so when it is a member of your family," said UA head football coach Nick Saban. "Aaron was a part of our family and always will be a part of our family at Alabama. He was an outstanding young man and we were excited about what he had accomplished as a player and a person in the short time he was with us.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, David and Karla, who are two of the best people you will ever meet and the love they had for their son was something very special. As a father, there is nothing we can say to describe the loss of a son. Our Alabama family has sustained a tragic loss and the Alabama family is grieving that loss. We will be here to support Aaron's family in any way we can."
UPDATE II: More details are coming out now about the events of last night. Per the Tuscaloosa News:
Fernandina Beach Chief of Police James Hurley released a statement that his office was called to a residence at 2570 First Avenue in the Fernandina area, where a party had taken place the previous night. Witness reports to police indicated that Douglas arrived at the party around 11-11:30 p.m. and was seen as late as 2 a.m. Police are investigating the possibility of illegal alcohol consumption by some at the party. At 21, Douglas was of legal drinking age.
According to Hurley's statement, Douglas was found on a second-floor balcony by the resident, and a call was placed to the police at 8:13 a.m.
It should come as no surprise that most tend to think Douglas' untimely death is the result of drugs and/or alcohol, and unfortunately Police Chief James Hurley speculates that is the likely culprit as well. Per Izzy Gould:
Fernandina Beach police chief James Hurley was asked by a reporter in Florida if Douglas' death could be a drug and alcohol overdose."That would be the preliminary guess," Hurley said. "But it's just a guess. There was no obvious trauma or cause of death that was obvious to us, nothing that would be fatal. It's a suspicion at this point."