Former Tennessee football player who died remembered as ‘gentle giant’

Photo: Mark Zaleski/For The Tennessean

Former Tennessee football player who died remembered as ‘gentle giant’


Former Tennessee football player who died remembered as ‘gentle giant’


The Brentwood Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) football program is reeling after the death of a former player.

Brandon Adams, a former Eagles standout and Georgia Tech player, died Saturday in Atlanta, the university announced Sunday. He was 21.

The Atlanta Police Department said that Georgia Tech police reached out to it about Adams’ death on Sunday morning. Georgia Tech police relayed that Adams collapsed Saturday at a townhouse complex near Georgia Tech’s football stadium. Friends drove Adams to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported an autopsy to determine the cause of death was performed Monday, but additional tests will be needed.

“He was always happy,” Brentwood Academy coach and athletics director Cody White said. “He was a gentle giant. He turned out to be a really, really good player, but he was a good kid. He was fun to be around. People loved him. When he turned it on, he could be dominating. But when he stepped off the field, he could be as nice of a young man as you could coach.”

Nov 10, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback N’Kosi Perry (5) fumbles the snap against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive lineman Brandon Adams (90) during the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Photo: Adam Hagy/USA TODAY Sports)

Adams was a member of Brentwood Academy’s 2015 state championship team, the first state championship since 2006 for the Eagles. Brentwood Academy defeated MBA 56-55 in double overtime, and Adams had eight total tackles in that game.

“We won in double overtime, and Brandon saved that game for us in the second overtime,” White said. “He made two spectacular plays and put the team on his back from a defensive standpoint.”

Adams landed at Georgia Tech and was a senior majoring in business administration. He played in 33 games over three seasons with the Yellow Jackets. He recorded 41 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss  and two forced fumbles in his college career.

“Our entire Georgia Tech football family is heartbroken by the news of Brandon’s passing,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said in a statement. “In the short time that I have had the privilege and honor of knowing Brandon, I admired and respected him, first and foremost as a terrific human being, but also as an outstanding teammate and leader. Jennifer and I offer our thoughts, prayers and unconditional support to his parents, Lisa and Reginald, his sister, Rian, and all of his family and friends, especially his brothers in our football program.”

White said the last time he saw Adams was around Christmas. Adams’ personality and his affection to people is what White will miss most.

“I don’t think you could find a person that didn’t appreciate or like him,” White said. “He was that kind of kid that everybody wanted to be around. He was pretty magnetic.”

Jamie McGee contributed to this story.


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