King, Yulee remain ’93 Strong’
HUNTINGTON — On Thursday, there was a No. 93 all over the field for Marshall University’s football team.
There was a No. 93 in the offensive backfield, making cuts and avoiding defenders.
And there was also a No. 93 lining up at the second level defensively and busting through to make plays.
The No. 93s even came together at one point of the team period.
Sophomore running back Tyler King and sophomore linebacker Jaquan Yulee both wore No. 93 — King in green, Yulee in white — in honor of fallen teammate Larry Aaron III, who died Feb. 22 in Maryland following complications from a New Year’s Day gunshot wound that left him paralyzed.
“Wearing his jersey makes it feel like he’s still here,” Yulee said. “His life was taken too soon and no one expected it to happen. It’s an honor to wear his jersey — that No. 93. That’s something that we’ve got to keep going.”
In the wake of Aaron’s initial injuries, the players came up with the social media hashtag ’93Strong’ to keep him at the forefront of their thoughts.
Following his passing, King and Yulee didn’t just want to use the saying to keep his memory strong. They also wanted to utilize it to keep themselves strong in the wake of his death.
King said he plans to wear the jersey for the rest of spring drills, with the blessing of head coach Doc Holliday.
“When we break down to ’93 Strong’ or ‘93’, we make sure we’re going hard for him the whole practice because he’s not here anymore,” King said. “I’m going to wear this for the rest of spring practice to make sure I’m going hard. Anytime I slack off, I’ve got that 93 on. I can’t do that. I’ve got to go hard for him.”
Yulee said the players have spoken to Holliday about being able to wear the jersey during the 2018 season.
“He said if you ball out the whole week of practice, he’ll let whoever did the best wear that No. 93 jersey that Saturday for the game,” Yulee said. “But, he said, if you put that jersey on, you’d better give it your all.”
King and Yulee have continued to stay in contact with Aaron’s parents, Larry Jr. and Melissa, after getting close with them in the last year and especially since the New Year’s accident.
The bond that has been built will not fade away.
“We’ve got to keep their family involved and let them know that even though he’s gone, ain’t nothing changed,” King said. “He was like a real blood brother to us and they opened their arms and welcomed us in as family.”
And, there are also still times when they are sitting alone that they still talk to ‘Lo’ in spirit, whether in the locker room or at home.
“It’s like I told Lo, our friendship is forever,” Yulee said. “That’s not going anywhere. It’s something we’ll take with us until the day we’re gone, too.
“That ’93 strong’, it’s on us. He’s with us forever.”