Former Florida quarterback John Reaves has passed away at the age of 67, the university confirmed on Wednesday.
Reaves, who was an All-SEC performer for the Gators and later played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was found dead at his home on Tuesday according to a report from The Tampa Bay Times.
Though his records have been passed over by the changes in the offensive approach to the game, Reaves left Florida in 1972 as the NCAA’s all-time leading passer with 7,581 career yards passing. He also held the SEC record with 54 touchdown passes.
According to the Tampa Bay Times report, the death is under investigation.
According to a death investigator for the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner, Reaves’ son, David, last heard from Mr. Reaves by text on Saturday but couldn’t reach him afterward.
David Reaves found Mr. Reaves dead in his home Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. and contacted 911, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Reaves was the No. 14 overall selection in the 1972 NFL Draft. In addition to time with the Eagles and Buccaneers, Reaves also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings and Houston Oilers before ending his NFL career.
He also played for Gators legend Steve Spurrier for the Tampa Bay Bandits in the USFL.
“I think those are my favorite memories of John,” Spurrier said of their time together in the USFL, per the FloridaGators.com obit. “He was a wonderful player to coach and a super teammate. Our second year he threw for more than 4,000 yards and I thought he was easily the best quarterback in the league, but I think Jim Kelly got voted as the All-USFL quarterback. But John was outstanding throwing the ball and directing our team. He was as good a pure dropback passer as I’ve ever coached.”