BALTIMORE (WJZ)– An early morning crash in Howard County took the life of a promising young man.

It appears fatigue caused Saif Bryant to crash his car into a tree in Ellicott City Sunday. In that split second, a family, a community, a school and team suffered a deep loss.

The 21-year-old followed his girlfriend, who was a new driver, home after a date. It had been a long day of football practice at Morgan State University, then work.

“She felt he was tired and she told him to go home ‘I’ll be alright’ and he was like, ‘no I’ll follow you,'” Saif’s father Karende Bryant said.

Somehow he took a wrong turn, on Centennial Lane and his car crashed into a tree. His girlfriend and her father rushed to the Bryant home and told his parents there’d been an accident.

“I was like, ‘how do you know?’ she was like, ‘he called me. He called me. He was in a car accident and the car was on fire,'”Karende said.

Karende doesn’t want to think about what his son may have suffered, instead he remembers the national honor student, high school football star and Morgan nose tackle who, in his short life, overcame many physical challenges.

“The things he did on the field translated in to the rest of his life. He was a righteous man. A young man with a purpose he just wanted to make sure his girlfriend got home safely,” he said.

Since his death, the Bryant house has been filled with people whose lives were touched by Saif.

“He got so much from home and he got so much from the field and he got so much from the people who loved and cared about him. My love for him never stops.”

Howard County police are still investigating the accident.

Saif’s funeral will be at the Morgan State University chapel, a school he loved and that loved him.

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