It’s difficult for anyone to lose somebody they love because death takes its toll both mentally and physically.
That’s why it’s so impressive that Alabama tight end Irv Smith was able to put up such an impressive stat line and focus on football after his “Uncle Kelby,” Kelby Love, passed away on Oct. 3 at the age of 58.
Smith made two catches for 123 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown catch just days later against Arkansas.
He explained his relationship with Love in an interview with Charlie Potter of BamaOnLine.
“My uncle is like my dad’s best friend growing up, and I was very close with him,” Smith said. “He died on Wednesday of last week, so it was tough for me. But I wanted to dedicate that to him and just go and ball out for him.”
His receiving yards total against the Razorbacks nearly matched his season total from last season and his touchdown was his third of the year.
“My family is everything to me,” Smith said. “My mom, my dad, my sister, my little nephew, everybody. We’re very close. They’ve done a lot for me raising me, and I do everything for them.”
While it’s heartbreaking to see anyone have to lose a family member, it’s also inspiring to see Smith pick himself up after Love’s death with a performance like that.
He’ll try to follow it up Saturday when the Crimson Tide play Mizzou at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.