To me, the word that best describes George Clinkscale is PASSION. He was incredibly passionate about his school, his team and the game of football. I got to cover TU football in 2009 for the first time. That was Clinkscale's final season with the Golden Hurricane.
I had some nice interactions with George. He was a friendly, loveable guy who was always on the lookout for a good joke. He was a serious football player but also was a light-hearted human being. When No. 8 took the field, the prankster was gone. He was in business mode.
I spoke to some TU players today who said that they were just shocked to hear about his death. Many players saw him the night he died. Curnelius Arnick was very close to George going back to their childhood days in Texas. He was visibly upset after practice on Thursday.
The team has dedicated the rest of the season to the memory to their friend. The team already has helmet decals with a #71 on them, honoring former player Wilson Holloway who died last year. This team has been through a lot of tragedy in the past 12 months. Hopefully, like Bill Blankenship said earlier today, the team will realize that life IS short and that they have to cherish every moment.
My prayers go out to George's family. He had a 2-year-old daughter and his girlfriend is expecting his second daughter to be born in two weeks.