WATCH: Emotional Altee Tenpenny ‘GameDay’ Feature Ahead of National Championship
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alabama players haven't forgotten Altee Tenpenny.
When they found out about the news on a late October night last fall, they took it hard in both interviews and on social media.
Then. starting with the team's next game after his death on Oct. 24 against Tennessee, the entire team started wearing No. 28 decals on their helmets -- his Alabama jersey number.
Now, they are dedicating their national championship run to him.
Before Alabama takes on Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game Monday, ESPN's "College GameDay" ran a feature on Tenpenny's life and death and the impact he still has on his Crimson Tide teammates.
"He has no more worries and no more troubles," Alabama running back Derrick Henry said. "I know he's watching over us."
Tenpenny, a running back who spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Crimson Tide, died in late October in a one-car accident in Mississippi. Police believe, Tenpenny, who was driving back to his hometown of North Little Rock, Arkansas, fell asleep behind the wheel.
Tenpenny transferred to UNLV after the 2014 season but was dismissed before the start of the season. He then transferred to Nicholls State but was also later dismissed before playing a game.
Tenpenny was on his way home to Arkansas to sort out his personal issues when the crash occurred.
“It just kills me to think about it,” running back Kenyan Drake said. “Just ’cause, that was my friend, man, and I knew I should’ve kept in a lot more contact than I did.”
Even before his death, Tenpenny remained popular with his Alabama teammates, despite his transfer.
When reminiscing on his life, his mother and teammates remember him best for his personality and huge smile.
"He was just a bundle of joy, he was always running around," Shenitta Shephard, Tenpenny's mother said. "Million-dollar smile. If I could have put money on it, I would."
But before leaving Alabama, Tenpenny proved prophetic in a conversation with Henry, who encouraged him to stay with the Crimson Tide.
"He told me to go win the Heisman," Henry said. "He said you can go do it, I believe in you."
Henry won the Heisman Trophy in December, then made it a point to mention his friend in the closing of his acceptance speech.
"I want to accept this trophy and rest in peace to my brother Altee Tenpenny," Henry said upon accepting the award. "He's been a brother to me who died this year. I just want to tell him I love him and I miss him and God bless. Roll Tide."