Wilder’s three assistants who also coached at Maine told him about an hour before the Monarchs FCS playoff game against Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
“Everybody’s just floored. Stuff like that just takes the wind right out you because Jovan was such a good kid. Like any young man, he’d had his ups and downs and been through some tough times in his personal life. I felt like he grew so much as a person at Maine. This wasn’t a guy I looked at said, ‘This is a sure-fire NFL guy.’ He worked his tail off to get where he was. … He had a lot on his plate that he had to do. … He was a typical Maine recruit, not enough this, not enough that. … I’m just still in shock.
“Like I assume anybody would, you try and think what could have possibly caused that?”
“I can’t even imagine what Scott (general manager Scott Pioli) and Romeo (head coach Romeo Crennel) must be feeling right now if they were there and trying to talk him out of it, and then they witnessed it. You can’t ever get away from that. The rest of their lives are going to be wondering: ‘What else could we have said, or what else could we have done?’”