NFL draft prospect Henry Ruggs III (who is at the No. 11 pick in the latest NBC Sports Washington mock draft) has a ritual every time he scores a touchdown: He puts three fingers up in the air.
It's a way he honors his late best friend, Rod Scott, who was killed in a car accident on the way to support a friend.
"He was heading down to Birmingham and I was supposed to go but I ended up being sick," the Alabama player told Maryland coach Mike Locksley on "Late Night With Locks". "So now anybody [will tell you] whenever I get sick I'm not going to lay into bed, I'm not sitting around. That's another reason why I don't like to sleep."
The accident, as NFL.com reported earlier last year, happened in March 2016. It was a rainy day and according to the report Scott was sitting between two friends in the back of the car. None of them were wearing seatbelts. Scott was thrown 50 yards from the car and died the next day. His family carried on his memory in part by advocating for a state law requiring backseat passengers to wear a seatbelt. It was passed last year.
"He was someone that always had the will. Always telling me what I could do. Telling other people what I could do," Ruggs said. "... He pretty much just told me I was going to Alabama. He told me a lot of things that are starting to come true."
Now that Scott isn't with him physically, he said he uses his memory as motivation.
"I'm going to still carry him on mentally and do everything I do," he said.
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