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Tragedy has struck Louisiana State University and the broader college football community with the news that Rahim Alem, a standout pass rusher on LSU’s dominant 2007 national championship team, has suddenly passed away. on Sunday at just 36 years old. Alem passed away in his hometown of New Orleans for reasons that have yet to be revealed, leaving former teammates and coaches remembering his tenacious spirit.
The shocking loss left colleagues reeling, with one writing: “We lost a wonderful brother on Sunday morning…love you Rahim Alem! You have a wonderful heart and love to smile!! RIP in the Omega Chapter.” Others echoed that somber sentiment about a life cut shockingly short.
Coming from a famous football lineage in The Big Easy, Rahim Alem was born in 1987 to former high-profile college stars Al and Patti Jones. His father shined as a quarterback at Tulane in the late 1970s. Inheriting raw athletic talent, Alem built a reputation as one of Louisiana’s top prep recruits.
Major publications ranked him among the best defensive prospects in the nation. Alem solidified that blue-chip status with first-team all-state honors in 2004 along with two absolutely dominant seasons. He arrived at nearby powerhouse LSU brimming with potential.
Alem showed promising skills in limited action as a freshman before starting his sophomore year in 2006. He started 12 of 13 games at defensive end, actually currently 34 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. The performance earned Alem SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors that September.
While his stats dipped slightly his junior year, Alem played an invaluable role in harassing quarterbacks on the Tigers’ fearsome championship unit. He declared for the NFL Draft after that victorious 2007 campaign. Miami selected him in the fifth round in 2009.
Although he logged only a short stint in the NFL, Rahim Alem left an indelible legacy in Baton Rouge starring one of the best defenses ever to date of the school. He embodies the tradition of defensive excellence that stems from his family lineage.
Now, Alem’s shocking untimely loss only adds to the heartbreak stemming from the recent deaths of two other key contributors to that 2007 title winner. The LSU community continues to struggle to understand the burial of so many precious young alumni just years away from gridiron glory.
But Rahim Alem’s passion for the game and embodiment of Louisiana football culture will live on forever through the countless Tiger teammates and fans who mourn his untimely passing. Theericas celebrated the striking cut seemingly prematurely but who has made the most of 36 short years to fully realize his dream.