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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Madison Williams

Division I Football Commit Dies in Mass Shooting

Editors’ note: This story contains details of a mass tragedy and gun violence. If you or someone you know is a survivor of a mass tragedy or is coping and needs to speak with someone, please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit

Four people were killed and 28 people injured in a mass shooting at a sweet 16 birthday party in Dadeville, Ala., on Saturday night. One of the four people who died was Jacksonville State football commit Philstavious Dowdell.

The party was for Dowdell’s sister in his hometown of Dadeville. His mother also was shot, but her condition has not been made public.

Jacksonville State football coach Rich Rodriguez released a statement shortly after the news about Dowdell’s death was confirmed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Philstavious Dowdell and the other victims of the senseless tragedy last night,” Rodriguez said. “He was a great young man with a bright future. My staff and I are heartbroken and hope that everyone will support his family through this difficult time.”

Dowdell announced his commitment to Jacksonville State back on Feb. 1 via Twitter. He was expected to play wide receiver for the Gamecocks.

The senior also played basketball and competed in track during his high school career.

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