The life of former Mississippi State University wide receiver De’Runnya “Bear” Wilson was cut short Tuesday afternoon. The Birmingham Police Department reported he was found dead in his home by a family member. Wilson was just 25 years old when he passed away.
Birmingham Police are investigating his death as a homicide. It is their sixth homicide investigation of 2020 according to a press release from the department.
De’Runnya Wilson was instrumental in helping the 2014 MSU football team have its first No. 1 ranking. He caught the first touchdown pass against Auburn University, the game where MSU earned their first place ranking. Wilson also made the final block at the goal line in Dak Prescott’s famous touchdown run against Louisiana State University in Death Valley.
In his three years with the Bulldogs, Wilson had 22 touchdown catches, tying with Fred Ross for second most touchdown receptions in the program's history.
Former players took to Twitter to express their condolences to Wilson’s family. Senior running back Kylin Hill called him his "big brother."
Commercial Dispatch writer Ben Portnoy was able to obtain a statement from former head coach Dan Mullen about De’Runnya Wilson.
“We were proud to watch De’Runnya grow as a player and achieve new heights in college football,” Mullen said. “Bear had a contagious smile and spirit. Our prayers go out to his family.”
MSU also tweeted out their condolences, thanking Wilson for the memories. To honor Wilson, MSU had a moment of silence before their basketball game against the University of Arkansas Wednesday night.
The investigation is still ongoing and no arrests have been made in connection to the case. There is also a GofundMe for Wilson’s family to help pay for the funeral costs.