Donnie McMickens, a football legend at Cherokee High School who went on to star at the University of Georgia, died on Thursday, according to multiple sources.
McMickens had been battling cancer this year, according to a GoFundMe set up to offset the cost of his medical treatment.
McMickens, who was inducted into the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, starred as a tailback for the Cherokee High Warriors, becoming one of the top college prospects in the state. He earned a spot on the 1976 All-State team and played in the 1977 North-South All-Star game, according to the Cherokee hall of fame.
McMickens went on to play at the University of Georgia under Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley.
McMickens career at Georgia included what longtime UGA radio personality Loren Smith described in a 2012 article as turning "a lemon into lemonade."
McMickens opened the 1980 season against Tennessee as starting tailback, but lost the position during that game to a freshman named Herschel Walker. Walker would help lead the team to a national title while having an All-America season in his first year in Athens. Smith wrote that McMickens dedicated himself to helping the team in other ways and became captain of special teams for the championship Bulldogs.
McMickens wrote on Facebook earlier this month that he was preparing to go to UGA for the dedication of the Sanford Stadium field to Dooley.
No services have yet been announced.