Keith McCants, a former NFL linebacker and Alabama football All-American, dies at 53

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Keith McCants, a former NFL player and football star at Alabama, was found dead at his home Thursday morning in St. Petersburg, Florida, a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokesperson told the The Tuscaloosa News. McCants was 53.

"Our deputies responded to his residence that is located in St. Petersburg," the spokesperson said. "Once they got there, he was already pronounced deceased by the medical personnel on scene there."

The spokesperson said it appears to be a drug overdose at this point, but they are waiting on confirmation from the medical examiner's office.

According to the Associated Press, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a St. Petersburg home about 5:10 a.m. Thursday. McCants was dead inside the house, where others, who made the 911 call, apparently lived.

Alabama linebacker Keith McCantes (86) walks off the field after the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Dec. 2, 1989.
Alabama linebacker Keith McCantes (86) walks off the field after the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Dec. 2, 1989.

McCants, a former unanimous All-American at Alabama, played for the Crimson Tide in the late 1980s and was part of the 1990 Sugar Bowl team that faced Miami.

The linebacker was selected fourth overall in the 1990 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He later joined the Houston Oilers and Arizona Cardinals, playing six seasons total.

The Mobile, Alabama native's NFL career ended in 1995, and he was arrested several times for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia over the years. After retiring from football, McCants became the first Black marine police officer in Alabama at the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

In his NFL career, McCants played in 88 games and recorded 192 tackles, 13.5 quarterback sacks and a single interception he returned for a 46-yard touchdown with the Cardinals.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Keith McCants: Former NFL linebacker, Alabama All-American dies at 53