There are plenty of times we — the media, fans or anyone else associated with the game of college football — need to step back and realize at the simplest of levels that the young men who play this great game for our enjoyment not only have the pressures inherent with taking the field for big-time college football, but issues well outside — and immensely more important — that need to be dealt with as well.
Manti Te’o proved that in unfathomable fashion last weekend. Sadly, a Florida State player will play this weekend with a heavy, heavy heart as well.
Earlier this week, Anthony Darling was shot and killed following an altercation in South Florida. Darling is the brother of Devonta Freeman, a Florida State running back who is currently third on the team in rushing yards.
With the No. 4 Seminoles set to take on No. 10 Clemson later today, head coach Jimbo Fisher said the back is expected to be available.
“It was devastating. It really was,” Fisher said according to the Tallahassee Democrat. “But he’s been out at practice every day. And he’s been practicing hard and running hard.”
The details of Freeman’s brother’s death are unimaginable — Darling reportedly “got the best of” what was a physical altercation, only to have “the guy [come] back and [shoot] him” — as is how Freeman is somehow able to practice let alone play through his grief.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the player and his family.