Gone Too Soon: Ohio State’s top player dies at the age of…

Today at Compton-Drew Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri, the eighth graders are in mourning.

They have shut the door of a popular teacher’s classroom. It’s out of respect for their English teacher, a teacher they loved so much.

Former Bama running back Ahmaad Galloway has died. School principal Susan Reid says that Galloway, an eighth-grade English teacher, was found dead on Monday at his St. Louis apartment during a welfare check.

“Ahmaad was always on time, very responsible, so we knew something might be wrong,” Reid said. “There wasn’t anything disrupted at Ahmaad’s apartment, so we are thinking that it could have been a medical issue.”

Galloway was a quiet, humble man who let his talking take place on the football field. A bruising running back out of Millington, Tennessee, Galloway played for the Crimson Tide from 1999 to 2002.

“Ahmaad was always quiet and humble,” his sister Kimberly Slaughter tells me. “My brother loved football growing up and later loved his children Austin and Aubrey.”

Galloway’s first cousin Monaco Houston tells me that Galloway was a man of his word. “Growing up he always said that he was going to reach the NFL, and he did,” Houston said. “He had a quiet smile- he was very shy.

As he grew, he was always great with kids- he was loved very much.”

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Marvin Constant is struggling today, as he has lost a great friend. The former Bama linebacker played at Bama alongside Galloway, and he’s sad to hear the news. “We talked frequently about life, not football,” Constant said.

“We talked just a week ago and he sounded great. We have been very close since 2002 when we spent time together rehabbing our knee injuries.”

Former Bama offensive lineman Griff Redmill tells me he has fond memories of his friend. Griff says like all of us, the news of a good man’s death at the young age of 42 has stunned him.

“When Ahmaad arrived at Bama, he was humble, yet mature beyond his years,” said Redmill. “He was mature and very put together- I knew right away that he was a person that could be my friend for life.”

Caleb Ross was looking for a receivers coach back in 2011. The then-Thompson High School coach hired Galloway, who was an instant hit with the players.

“He was patient and kind- the kids absolutely loved him,” Ross tells me. “He was a young coach, but the kids flocked to him.”

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An official cause of death may not be known for a few days. “The medical examiner is working to find out how Ahmaad died,” school principal Reid says from St

. Louis. “The family is coming together from different parts of the country before deciding on funeral arrangements.”

Galloway’s eighth-grade students are gathering today through tears to honor their first-year teacher. While they will keep Galloway’s class door shut out of respect, they will make signs and banners, hoping that doing so helps ease their pain. The school crisis team has sprung into action.

Students at Compton-Drewe ILC Middle School are receiving counseling.

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A 42-year-old kind, quiet, humble man is gone too soon.

“It’s going to take some time for the students to digest this,” Reid said with a sigh.

Reid thanked me for checking on her and before saying goodbye, said:

“The kids here loved Ahmaad so much.”

I thought I heard a sniffle.

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