ATHENS, GA (WAFB) - The support continued to pour in Tuesday from all over for injured Southern Jaguars wide receiver Devon Gales.
The former Central High School standout had surgery Sunday afternoon for a severe spinal cord injury he suffered in a game over the weekend. According to Southern, doctors were able to stabilize the fractures in Gales' neck. They say he has movement in his upper body and is in good spirits.
He was visited again Tuesday night by Georgia head coach Mark Richt before Gales is moved Wednesday morning to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for spinal rehabilitation.
Doctors expected about 7 to 10 weeks of rehab for Gales, which will include multiple forms of therapy. Although it's too early to know anything for sure, 9Sports was told Gales underwent a foot reflex test and moved four of his toes, which is a positive sign.
Southern running back Malcolm Crockett and the Jaguars were still feeling the emotional effects of Gales' injury in Saturday's game at Georgia, noting he's without a doubt one of the hardest workers on the team.
"You never really see it coming. That's just Devon Gales being Devon Gales going 100 percent throughout the entire play," said junior running back Lenard Tillery. "One thing goes wrong and just like that, he's laying down and no one knows what's going on."
"Once we saw him stop moving, it was a different silence on the field that you wouldn't really get or expect," said senior defensive back Justin Morgan. "A lot of us were actually shedding tears on the sideline because we didn't know what was going to happen"
"When injuries happen like that, we might be on opposite teams, but at the end of the day, that's somebody you know, just, why him? That's the question," said senior running back Malcolm Crockett.
A redshirt sophomore at wide receiver, Gales plays one of the deepest positions on the Jaguars roster, but began making a name for himself this offseason.
He had a big scrimmage making some nice catches including a touchdown to close fall camp, but the best place for him to make an immediate impact was on special teams. His teammates can't speak for him, but say Gales loves whatever role he can take to help the team.
"As a walk-on, a former walk-on myself, when you come out, you have a lot to prove to everybody and prove to yourself," said Tillery. "You just want to go 100 on every play so when he got out this year and they gave him the opportunity to be special teams, you know he's going to be out there making sure his assignment is done.
"He's just going to go 100 percent, 110 percent really. He's going to go above and beyond what you ask him to do. So something like that is just typical of Devon, but I just hate to see something happen like that.
"Him being so little but always having the biggest heart on the field, we always look at him biggest guy regardless of who we're playing," said Morgan. "As you can see, it doesn't matter who we're playing, he's going to hit them. So we're just going to use that as a big motivation for us."
"When one of our brothers goes down, it kind of takes a toll on us, but we're going to go into every game honoring him," said Crockett. "Hopefully we're going to get to the celebration bowl, and he can be there. But every game is going to be to him."
Southern University Athletics and the Southern University System Foundation launched the Devon Gales Fund Monday afternoon to help provide Gales and his family financial assistance in covering medical expenses.
Donations can be made online at the Devon Gales Fund website or mailed to the following address:
Southern University System Foundation
c/o Devon Gales Fund
PO Box 9562
Baton Rouge, La. 70813
Richt and many staffers first visited Gales at the hospital Sunday night. The Bulldogs flew in Gales' parents to be with their son.
Richt said Georgia will continue to think about and pray for Gales. He tweeted out the details of the Devon Gales Fund Monday night to urge the Bulldog fans to chip in and help.