Thanks to Chris and Abovepar for remembering Joey Embry. I was trying to recall an Ole Miss tragedy similar to that of Keffer McGee, and this was it.
Like Keffer, Joey had missed the season before his death – in this case 1997 – with an injury. For Joey, it was his back. He was listed as the No. 2 right offensive tackle going into the 1998 season.
Joey Embry was a native of Bruce, a high school star there and a life-long Ole Miss fan. He was very active in FCA, and the school offers a scholarship in his name.
I was on the MSU beat then and was not involved in our coverage of Joey’s death. I remember that he drowned in a lake, and I found a news report on his drowning. Joey and two friends had gone to the MSU golf course late at night to search for golf balls after having played the course earlier in the day. Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt said Joey apparently drowned after suffering a diabetic-related seizure.
Here’s a quote from then-Ole Miss coach Tommy Tuberville: “Joey had worked so hard to come back from some health problems and back surgery. He had shown a lot of courage and determination and projected as a possible starter in the fall. Our players looked up to him for the way he had battled through some tough times. This is a tremendous loss for all of us.”