Deaths of Auburn players hit close to home for several Bulldogs

The news that three people — including two former Auburn football players — were killed in a shooting at an apartment complex close to that campus this past June hit close to home for Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Former Auburn offensive lineman Ed Christian was one of the players who died. Harvey-Clemons and Christian were teammates at Lowndes High School in Valdosta.

“I saw it on the news,” Harvey-Clemons said. “It was crazy. Just thinking something like that would happen to somebody you’ve been around. …We were close, but we didn’t hang out all the time. I know his dad is a police officer down in Valdosta.”

Georgia tight end Jay Rome, a redshirt freshman who attended rival Valdosta High, said he knew Christian.

“Valdosta’s not that big of a city,” he said. “We were actually friends with a lot of each other even though we went to different schools. I knew Ed. It was crazy what happened, man.”

Rome said he threw shotput and discus against Christian in track meets and talked between events.

Harvey-Clemons’ grandfather, Woodrow, attended Christian’s funeral at Mathis Municipal Auditorium in Valdosta, said Josh, who was already in Athens for summer school and workouts. The shootings occurred after a fight at a pool party.

“He was a great guy,” Harvey-Clemons said of Christian, who was medically disqualified from football due to a back injury. “He came to my school from Thomasville. He started since his freshman year. One of the biggest guys on the team, real positive. Never was in trouble or anything like that. That’s why it shocked me that he was shot. He was a pretty much a great all-around player really.”

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