Like most college students around the nation, Tim McNerney and friends were out enjoying a night on the town in Washington, Pa.
Tim was a senior at Washington & Jefferson College -- a school of about 1,500 students 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
Having fun with friends, enjoying each other's company and taking in the sights and sounds of college was something Tim and his friends, like many of us who went to college ourselves, probably did literally hundreds of times.
Unfortunately this night was different as friends began to depart and head home, Tim and a friend began walking when on the way home something went terribly wrong.
While the details are still not known, local police believe that a robbery had gone bad and Tim McNerney ended up dead due to blunt force trauma to the head which has been ruled a homicide.
McNerney, a senior business major, played football and was the team's starting running back. He led the team this season with 483 rushing yards and four touchdowns while also being one of the team's captains. He had scored a touchdown in 18 of 25 games in which he registered a carry, and his 30 career touchdowns meant that he was close to getting on the school's top-five list in the category.
It is a sad and senseless act that has taken someone who seemingly had his entire life in front of him.
His high school -- Knoch High School -- about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, held a moment of silence Thursday night at their game, while at the same time his teammates, fellow students and family at Washington & Jefferson held a candlelight vigil on campus in his honor.
Words cannot describe or do justice to what all these people are feeling on a small college campus where everyone really does know everyone.
Washington and Jefferson has decided to continue forward this weekend with playing football as the Presidents are slated to play President's Athletic Conference rival Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
Thomas More in a genuine show of sportsmanship and support pledges to do whatever Washington and Jefferson would like or feel appropriate at the game. Another show of support comes from every member of the conference that will take a moment of silence at every PAC game this weekend.
Here is hope that his coaches and teammates rally, think of the positive times and not only play inspired the rest of this season but take a piece of Tim forward in their lives.
I had seen Tim play, but never met him, but as someone who spends every day on a small college campus around bright and talented college students -- I can't help but feel sad for what happened to this young man, and feel for all the people at Washington & Jefferson.
So I encourage each of you this weekend when watching the college football games and college football players that you love -- take a moment for Tim.
To follow tributes for Tim on Twitter search the hashtag #rip5
Follow Lenny Reich on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LennyinOhio