Former Rutgers defensive back Johnathan Aiken died early Friday morning.
According to a report by ABC Local 10 News, Aiken was killed in a single-vehicle accident in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Aiken, who played at Rutgers from 2011-14, reportedly lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an overhead light pole, guardrail and palm tree, according to the report. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The 26-year-old Aiken was pronounced dead at Broward Medical Center, per the report.
Aiken — who was the first Rutgers player to win the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Award — was a key player on the Scarlet Knights’ most recent bowl team in 2014, which was his senior season. Aiken started eight of the team’s 13 games and recorded a career-high 51 tackles that season. Rutgers went 8-5 and defeated North Carolina, 40-21, in the Quick Lane Bowl.
Aiken played in 34 games in his collegiate career, collecting 76 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
I’m deeply saddened to hear this news, #RIP Jonathan Aiken! You was a teammate I considered a little brother, you showed crazy love and energy to my game before you started balling on the field with your big bros and you was a loyal supporter of my haircuts when we were in school together. I shared so much quality one on one time being a big bro and mentor to him; just from a haircut, that’s why this one hurts so much. He used to get a haircut twice a week because he wanted to stay fresh and he knew I was a ear and heart that would listen to him and give him the advice he could count on. That’s the impact barbers & stylist have on people’s lives. The relationships that are created from having 30 minutes of undivided attention while you cut someone’s hair is why I love doing what I do. Aik was one of the people when I graduated that said “damn Dub, what we gone do, it’s nobody else around that can cut us like you and be the big bro like you are to us, you gotta bring it back one day” I remember telling him like it was yesterday, “don’t worry bro I’ll be back”! Sure enough @twcbs is back and I’ll never forget what impact you had on this bro. Rest In Peace Lil Bro! #JonathanAiken #BrotherForever
So sorry to hear about the passing of Jonathan Aiken. Jonathan played for Chaminade and SFE and went on to play at Rutgers. RIP Buddy!! You always made everyone laugh at practice! pic.twitter.com/szQDfMK0VW
— Brett Goetz (@sfecoach) June 22, 2018
A true solider right here. I was looking forward to coming down and trying your BBQ restaurant you were telling me about. You overcame so much and had alot more coming to you. I'm proud of you and I'm sorry to see you go. If anybody has his family's contact info plz pass it on to me. RIP Aik, love. #BayBay #StayTrue #Win #DieEmpty