Former Florida Gators walk-on defensive lineman Lamar Abel (1989-2010) has passed away. He was 21-years-old.
Though details surrounding his death are yet not available, University of Florida spokesman Steve Orlando told the media he was volunteering with his fraternity at a roadside cleanup event in Gainesville, FL, when he became sick. He was taken to Shands Hospital at the project’s conclusion, but the doctors could not save him. The Miami Herald reports that he died of cardiac arrest.
Abel joined the Gators as a walk-on before the 2007 season and dressed for five games that year. He did not see game action until 2008 against The Citadel, but he did wear his No. 62 on the field four other times that season (Hawaii, Miami, Arkansas, Oklahoma [BCS National Championship]).
Head coach Urban Meyer awarded him the Scout Team Player of the Week award before the South Carolina game that year.
Abel did not return to the team for the 2009 season.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the tragic news,” offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said in a statement. “Lamar was a proud member of our program and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
He was a junior majoring in finance at UF.
“He was a kid with a great attitude,” Ely High School head coach Greg McGirt told the Miami Herald. “He always hustled. Was very respectful to the coaches, never talked back. Just a great teammate. He always did the right thing.”
OGGOA sends our deepest condolences to the Abel family. We will update this story as more information is made available.