COLUMBUS, Ohio — Former Ohio State and NFL defensive back William White has died at the age of 56 following a battle with ALS, according to the Detroit Lions.
The Lions made the announcement on Twitter Thursday night. White played for Detroit from 1988-93.
White announced he was diagnosed with ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, in 2016. He created a fund at Ohio State to support ALS research at the university.
White played for the Buckeyes from 1984-88 before being drafted in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Lions.
Detroit's special assistant to the president/CEO and chairperson Chris Spielman was White's teammate both at Ohio State and with the Lions.
"I loved William. We shared experiences of joy and sorrow on and off the field. He was and always will be my brother. I am forever grateful for the special moment last year when he was able to be by my side during the Pride of the Lions ceremony at Ford Field. I can't wait to see him again when he will be free from ALS. May God's peace rest upon his family," Spielman said in a statement.
White played for a total of 11 seasons in the NFL from 1988-98 with the Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.