NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hundreds turned out Saturday to mourn and remember University of Memphis football player Taylor Bradford who was shot to death on campus last week.
The Rev. Odie Hoover III, who has known the Bradford family for decades recalled hearing about the 21-year-old's death.
"As I listened to the news report, I busted with anger and dismay," he said. "I was angry because my best friend's child had been taken away. And then I thought about the word of God in Deuteronomy 29: 'The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.' "
Bradford, a junior from Nashville, died after a shooting at a residential complex on the Memphis campus about 9:45 p.m. Sunday. He drove a short distance before his car crashed into a tree. Emergency workers answering the wreck call, discovered Bradford was shot. He died later at a Memphis hospital.
Mourners filled Nashville's House of God Church Inc., where services were held because the Bradford's home church, Lee Chapel AME, was too small.
Bradford, a 5-foot-11, 300-pound defensive lineman, was a junior who transferred to Memphis after two seasons at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.
He attended high school at Nashville's Antioch High where he lettered in three sports and held school records in shot-put and discus.
Speaking at the funeral, Memphis coach Tommy West said in his 26 years coaching college football, "I've never seen a group of young people — including our student body at the vigil Monday night — the respect and the love that has been shown has been incredible for a man that basically we knew for two years.
"There's two kind of people in this world. There's takers and there's givers. Taylor Bradford was a giver. What he gave us was an attitude. In our game, you can give in a lot of different ways: you can give by blocking and tacking and sacking people and by forcing bad plays.
"Taylor gave us an attitude like none other — a smile that everybody here has talked about. He gave us an attitude everyday that was positive and that I will never forget.
"You see, takers eat well. Givers sleep well. Taylor Bradford will sleep well."