HENDERSON, Nev. – A former Brigham Young University football player, who is now a linebacker for the Detroit Lions, is reaching out to a family after they lost their 9-year-old son over the weekend.
The parents of Austen Russell wrote on the CougarBoard, a BYU message board, their son died after he was run over May 30.
The family said Austen was one of BYU’s biggest fans.
His parents said he started watching every BYU football and basketball game when he was just 3 years old.
The family said, when Austen started playing sports, he would always choose #3 because of Kyle Van Noy and Tyler Hawes.
Now one of Austen’s heroes is reaching out to the family.
Van Noy posted a video on YouTube sending his condolences to the family and letting them know they are in his thoughts.
I'm wearing number 3 today in loving memory of Austen Russell! My heart and prayers go out to the Russell family and his Dad. Stay Strong and know that we love and support you through this difficult time! #austenrussellfan
The post states the funds donated to that account will be used on a memorial and new park benches at Paradise Pointe Park in Nevada.
The Russell family wrote on the CougarBoard:
“My heart is broken as I am writing this, as the pain is more than I can bare. I am in a huge gray fog and don’t know what to do. It is a horrible nightmare I can’t wake up from.
On Saturday I ran over my 9 year old son. He was a huge BYU fan. When he was 3 he started watching every BYU football and basketball game with me. He loved Jimmer, but for some reason he would always say Jackson Emery was his favorite player (at the time). As he started playing team sports he would always choose #3 because of Tyler Hawes and Kyle Van Noy. Starting as a 3 year old we would grill him on all the players numbers (all of basketball & football starters) and he would impress us with knowing them all. Whenever we were in the car he would ask for my phone to watch highlight Furious Monkey BYU videos or youtube Jimmer highlight videos. I don’t know how I am going to get through this. Its been over six years since I watched a BYU football or basketball game without him by my side. The love, prayers and support from our community has been amazing. The kids are wearing sports jerseys to school today in his memory. I am not looking for anything, just trying some self therapy.”