Missouri announced Thursday that it will celebrate the life of Aaron O’Neal on Saturday during the homecoming game against Florida at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
O’Neal was a redshirt freshman when he died on July 12, 2005, during a voluntary workout.
“While the pain of Aaron’s loss will dwell indefinitely, his memory and spirit will live on forever at Mizzou,” a release from MU athletics said. “Aaron’s engaging smile, his selfless nature and his warm friendship will never be forgotten, and it is all of those things that will be celebrated with his entire family and the Mizzou family during Saturday’s game.”
O’Neal graduated from Parkway North High in St. Louis in 2004 and redshirted the next fall with the Tigers.
Missouri settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the family in 2009. The lawsuit alleged that the football staff didn’t take proper precautions to manage O’Neal’s sickle-cell history, a hereditary condition that has been linked to heat stroke and exercise-induced collapse.
The Tigers issue O’Neal’s uniform number, 25, to a linebacker from St. Louis each season in his honor.
Junior Donavin Newsom, who also played at Parkway North, wears No. 25 this season.