ESPN’s “College GameDay” features a report on late OU linebacker Austin Box and how his death affected his family and the team. Box, 22, died in May from a lethal mix of prescription pain killers. Reporter Tom Rinaldi talked with Box’s family. The report will air about 10:10 a.m. Saturday.
From the time he was in seventh grade, Austin’s father, Craig, wrote his son a letter before every game he played — from middle school through the last game he played — the Fiesta Bowl win over Connecticut just in January. This season, Craig has been reading those letters again as Austin’s memory carries on, by his team and his family.
Quotes from the “College GameDay” segment:
Craig Box on the letters: “I wanted him to have something. To let him know his daddy was watching him; his daddy cared about him; his daddy loved him; that he was special; that he was gonna be special.”
Mother Gail Box: “He dealt with his back and the pain in his arm. But Austin never complained. He felt like he had been given so many gifts, that to complain would just be unheard of.”
Sister Whitney Box on a different OU defensive player wearing No. 12 in each game: “I can watch the No. 12, and root for whoever’s wearing it, and really want that player to maybe do better than all the other defensive players. But just really honor Austin in whatever they do. And they all have, each one of them. Whenever they’ve worn that jersey, they’ve honored Austin.”