Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anybody, even the strongest and seemingly most healthy among us.
The past week has been a sober reminder of that.
On Monday morning, Aaron Wilson, a 4-star defensive end in the class of 2022, died after a months-long battle with cancer.
As Hayes Fawcett reports for 247 Sports, Wilson had glioma, which is a type of a tumor that starts in the brain or spine and makes up the majority of all malignant brain tumors.
It is with a heavy heart to announce that Aaron Wilson, a Class of 2022 SDE, has tragically just passed away due to Cancer
There was no doubt that his future would’ve been extremely bright.
Prayers to his family, friends, and everyone affected🙏🕊 pic.twitter.com/G8Dwdlkp2M
— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) April 26, 2021
Wilson, 6’2″ and 235 pounds, was a 4-star Arkansas football recruit and one of the top players in the nation at his position.
Although the Florida native lived in Maryland and attended St. Frances Academy, he was good enough to garner interest from major programs all over the nation.
Sam Pittman and Derrick LeBlanc, Arkansas’ defensive line coach, had been targeting him to become the highest-rated commit in an Arkansas football class of 2022 that is currently ranked at No. 13 in the nation.
“Great burst off edge,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Brian Dohn wrote about Wilson.
“Can beat offensive lineman with speed, power or technique. Good body control when tackling in space. Field awareness is a plus. Can stack and shed when ball is run his way.”
“Has speed and motor to chase plays down back side.”
As healthy as Wilson was, it must have come as a shock to his mother Rasheda Mayse when he fell ill last year.
“In the years leading up to 2020 my son Aaron Wilson by everyone’s standards would be considered a champion,” she wrote on a GuFundMe page. “He excelled academically in the classroom, often bringing home a 4.0 in his studies.”
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, she added: “He was very concerned about his grades and very serious about his studies. He was a people person, very family-oriented. He got along with everybody.”
Mayse said that in the last few months Wilson had undergone a brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Wilson had four procedures, including a shunt in his skull to help relieve pressure and prevent fluid buildup caused by what had become three brain tumors by November, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“Aaron’s oncologist, when I talked to him he said, ‘I don’t know what else to do,’” Mayse said.
Even through the pain, Wilson still showed everybody what a champion he was.
“Despite his medical condition Aaron has managed to maintain his sense of humor,” Mayse wrote.
“He shows humility each day. He has a strong faith in God and his favorite thing to say is, ‘I have magnificent faith!'”
Aaron Wilson’s Father Shares Insight
The Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Hays spoke with Aaron Wilson’s parents and got more insight into the life of this special young man.
Turns out, he actually carried a 4.4 GPA and left behind a top schools list that included Penn State, Michigan, South Carolina, Howard, Vanderbilt, Maryland and Louisville.
“I believe if this had never happened and Penn State pulled the trigger, he would have been there,” he said.
Aaron Wilson died peacefully in his father’s home in Ocoee, Florida.
A few current and former Razorbacks have expressed their condolences for former Kentucky basketball player Terrence Clarke.
Last week, Clarke died in a car wreck in Los Angeles with his mother by his side.
The 19-year-old was part of Kentucky’s highly-rated class of 2020. Although an injury kept him from playing part of the second half the season, including in Kentucky’s loss to Arkansas, he was still considered to be good enough to warrant an NBA Draft pick in June.
“Terrence was only with us a short time, but God blessed us when he put him in our lives,” his college coach John Calipari wrote. “We are all better people for having crossed paths with him.
“His enthusiasm and energy—not just for basketball, for life—are what we all hope to have in our journey,” Calipari added.
“Terrence had figured that part out—that if you wake up every day with a smile on your face and a joy in everything you do, this life is beautiful.”
Below is a kind word about Clarke from Moses Moody, who knew him from the basketball summer circuit:
Rest In Peace man 🕊🕊 pic.twitter.com/ocL44Sa79H
— Moses (@mosesmoody) April 23, 2021
Young Life Cut Short (for the brother of a dear friend)
Do not judge a biography by its length, Nor by the number of pages in it.
Judge it by the richness of its contents
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most poignant
Do not judge a song by its duration
Nor by the number of its notes
Judge it by the way it touches and lifts the soul
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most beautiful
And when something has enriched your life
And when its melody lingers on in your heart
Is it unfinished?
Or is it endless?