St. Petersburg, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, Keith McCants was found dead in a St. Petersburg home Thursday. Investigators responded around 5:00 a.m. and say the former linebacker appeared to have died from a possible drug overdose. Deputies are still awaiting more details from the Medical Examiners office.
CW44's Andrea Alvarez spoke with the professional athletes alma mater Friday about the legacy and impact he left behind starting from his time playing for Alabama to his professional career here in Tampa Bay.
"Yea it was a great time to watch football. There were good teams, particularly on defense," explained Ken Gaddy about University of Alabama football back in the '80's. "It's a tough job but there were still great players and Keith McCants was one of them."
Memories of a powerhouse team and a powerhouse player, Keith McCants will always be known for his size and speed on the football field.
"The thing that stands out about Keith McCants' playing days as, particularly a Junior here at Alabama, is his sheer dominance and his size," said Gaddy.
Tackling his opponents 255 pounds at a time, McCants played for the Crimson Tide from 1988-'89. Then, during the 1990 NFL draft, he was the number 4 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"His height, his weight, one of the first big linebackers," explained Gaddy, who remembers watching McCants dominate the gridiron.
"I was the Director of the Museum for almost 30 years," said Gaddy. He says following the linebacker lineage of players like Derrick Thomas, Cornelius Bennett and others, McCants will be remembered as part of perhaps one of the greatest eras in Alabama's defense history.
"For him to run at that speed and go sideline to sideline, you know, he was a new phenomenon for his size and speed. So it was a great time for defense here in Alabama," said Gaddy. And a great time to reminisce on the memories now living in the hearts of so many fans.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is continuing their investigation into McCants' death. St. Petersburg council member Robert Blackmon posted this tweet Thursday regarding McCants death highlighting his love and hope for peace in McCants passing. Stick with CW44 news as we continue to follow this developing story.
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