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Former Paramus Catholic Football Star Dead In Crash Hours After Bulldogs Championship Parade

Devin Willock at the Bulldogs' championship parade just hours before he died.
Devin Willock at the Bulldogs' championship parade just hours before he died. Photo Credit: devinwillock Instagram

Devin Willock spent Saturday, Jan. 14 riding around on emergency service vehicles and celebrating the University of Georgia Bulldogs' 2023 college football championship win in the parade in Athens, GA.

Less than 18 hours later, he was dead.

The 20-year-old former Paramus Catholic football player (Class of 2020) was a passenger in a 2021 Ford Expedition heading south on a street in Athens when it left the roadway and hit two poles and several trees around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, county police said in a statement.

Willock, a New Milford native, was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy — a recruiting staffer — died at a local hospital. A 21-year-old male passenger sustained minor injuries and a 26-year-old female passenger sustained serious injuries.

The New Milford native posted videos of the Bulldogs' championship parade to his Instagram story, capturing throngs of fans lining local streets from the top of emergency service vehicles.

Willock redshirted as a freshman but appeared in 12 games for Georgia in 2021, including the College Football Playoff wins over Michigan and Alabama.

"[Willock] saw his biggest role yet this past season," the university's athletic department said. "Willock appeared in all 15 games, serving as a critical piece to the rotation strategy the Bulldogs employed all season long. 

"He saw action at both right and left guard, helping lead Georgia to a second straight national championship."

There was an outpouring of support for Willock and LeCroy from both the University of Georgia family and College Football as a whole.

“We are all heartbroken and devastated with the loss of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy," Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. "Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, was a great teammate and a joy to coach.

"Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day. We grieve with their families for this tragic loss and will support them in every way possible.”

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and UGA star senior linebacker Nolan Smith also took to social media to react to the tragic news.

Willock was a consensus three-star prospect coming out of Paramus Catholic High Schoo, where he was a stalwart on both sides of the ball, notching multiple sacks while serving as an anchor on an offensive line that averaged more than 200 yards per game in 2019. 

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