ST. CLAIR COUNTY — A University of South Alabama football player was killed in a motorcycle accident Sunday afternoon.
St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell said USA Jaguar football player Anthony Ray Mostella, II, 22, of Oneonta, was killed when the motorcycle he was driving left the roadway and struck a metal guardrail.
“We are deeply saddened by this event. Anthony has been and will be regarded as an inspirational leader, role model and stellar citizen,” said USA Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his teammates and his friends.”
Russell said Mostella was pronounced dead at the scene, along St. Clair County 26, between Ragland and Ashville.
He said the accident happened at about 3:38 p.m., six-tenths of a mile east of the St. Clair County 26 and 33 intersection.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony’s family right now,” said Jaguar head coach Joey Jones.
The running back followed his coach from Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham to USA in Mobile.
“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Anthony at two schools. He was the epitome of a true student-athlete and a tremendous role model to his peers,” Jones said. “His character and leadership skills will always be an example for everyone in our program to follow.”
Russell said the motorcycle was traveling east on St. Clair County 26 when the accident occurred.
He ruled Mostella’s cause of death as head trauma.
“He was wearing a helmet,” Russell said.
Mostella was a running back for the Jaguars. He was entering his senior year at USA.
Justin Schwind, the Jaguars’ strength and conditioning coach, said Mostella was not only a good player but an extremely good individual.
“He was a team captain,” Schwind said. “He was one of the best kids. We’re all pretty distraught about this.”
Mostella was attending USA on a full athletic scholarship.
In University of South Alabama’s 2009 inaugural football season, Mostella rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns. He was also credited with seven tackles on special team units.
The college transfer student was required to sit out his 2008 season at USA.
While at Birmingham Southern, Mostella was named second team all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2007, according to his biography on the Jaguar’s athletic website. He finished the season at Birmingham Southern with 769 all-purpose yards, including two touchdowns and 222 yards on 57 rushes. He also grabbed 30 catches for 297 yards and a score.
Mostella was a three-year starter for Oneonta High School, where he earned all-state and all-district honors after rushing for 2,055 yard and scoring 38 touchdowns his senior year.