CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – It was a very emotional press conference where University of Virginia football coach Elliott spoke about how the players are coping with this tragedy.
Elliott said there are several counselors available for players right now and they are trying to spend as much time together as possible.
“Feels like it’s a nightmare to be honest with you, I’m waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up.,” Elliott said. “The team, the players, their families, the young men whose families have been impacted the most, that’s where my thoughts are right now.”
Elliott described Devin as being the life of the party – whether that was in the weight room or on and off the field.
“Devin was, he was just was what you want in a young person, he was big-eyed, he smiled all the time, loved to dance, loved to sing,” Elliott said.
He said Lavel was one of the big men on campus. We’re told he set the standard for what it looks like to work hard at practice.
“Lavel, I knew Lavel for a long time. Since his freshmen year, big smile, lights up the room, he’s got a gentleness about him,” Elliott said.
The coach said D’Sean was one of the most interesting ones on the team – saying he had more depth to him than what you would expect by looking at him.
“I don’t think many people outside of our program knew how special D’Sean was. Very artistic. Very cultured, well rounded just a great teammate and had a sense of humor that was one of a kind,” Elliott said.
They’re trying to keep the players together to make sure no one feels alone during this difficult time, Elliott said.
“The best coping mechanism for me is the young men. being around them and see them see their pain, see their hurt, it inspires me to keep pushing through every single day,” the coach said.
Carla Williams, UVA’s athletic director, was also present at the conference.
“We have really focused on our players and our families and it … it is so shocking that you just want to love on our players, so that’s where we have spent our energies and our time and that’s what I think we need to continue to do.,” Williams said.
Emotions were heavy during today’s press conference, but UVA said resources are available for football players and students alike. You can contact the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services department at 434-243-5150, 24/7.