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Mural created for slain UT football player

Jahneil Douglas' football gear remains in his locker
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 7:22 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The University of Toledo football team will honor a fallen teammate this year with a mural of Jahneil Douglas now in UT’s locker room.

The Rockets keep the defensive lineman who died in a shooting earlier this year close.

“I’ve always told Jahneil to shine and in his death he’s still shining. I’m very pleased by that,” said Jahneil’s mom Brandi Hopkins.

His football gear remains in his locker. A mural of Douglas now graces the locker room wall in honor of their teammate. The players walk by it every time they leave the locker room.

Douglas was just 22 years old and was known as JD. He was a graduate of Start High School and a junior at Toledo. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound rocket football player was shot and killed outside of the Gino’s on Monroe Street in June. Michael Mitchell was arrested and charged with murder.

“I Can’t really talk about motive. I can’t talk about the facts at this stage,” said Deputy Chief Frank Spryszak of the Criminal Division for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office

Spryszak says the suspect is still locked up.

“Discovery has been fully provided by the state. So at this point, it’s my understanding we are in a trial posture. I believe that the defendant will most likely elect to present a defense of self-defense, if the matter proceeds to trial,” said Spryszak.

Players at UT will wear a patch with Jahneil’s initials JD on both their home and away jerseys. His mother says his legacy will live on.

“All he wanted to do was play on that football field. All he wanted to do was play, and now his legacy can live on forever in that stadium with those boys and the next set of boys, but the one thing they will see is that smile,” said Hopkins.

The prosecutor doesn’t know when this case will go to trial.

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