Former Dolphins Safety Dies at 45

Former Dolphins safety and University of Florida legend Jarvis Williams has died of heart complications at the age of 45.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Williams died of a heart attack 16 years after retiring from the NFL. Drafted in the second round by Miami in 1988, Williams and Gators teammate Louis Oliver teamed up as the Dolphins safety tandem from 1989-1993.

The defensive back recorded 14 interceptions with the Dolphins and added two picks in his final season with the New York Giants in 1994. Williams played a total of six years in the NFL, but it was his Gator days Jarvis will be remembered by most.

Williams, one of the greatest defensive backs in Gators history, was a first-team selection on the University of Florida’s All-Century team, which was picked in 1999.  He played 45 games for the Gators (1984-87) and was inducted into the Gators’ Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

“I am saddened by the loss of Jarvis Williams,” said Dolphins vice president Nat Moore. “He was not only a personal friend but a terrific football player for both the Miami Dolphins and Florida Gators. He dedicated his life to helping young people and it is a real tragedy to pass away at a young age.”

Suffice it to say, it’s been a tough May for the Miami Dolphins alumni.

Williams, who turned 45 only a week and a half ago, becomes the third former Dolphins player to die this month, all under the age of 50.  Linebacker Nick Rogers died in a car crash on May 4 at the age of only 30 and former defensive lineman Norman Hand died of a heart attack at age 37 on May 14.

I offer my condolences to Williams’ family, friends and former teammates as well as all of those who got the esteemed privilege of watching him play.

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