Donald “Reche” Caldwell Jr., was born on March 28, 1979 in Tampa, Florida, United States to Donald Caldwell Sr. and Deborah Caldwell. Reche died on June 6, 2020 in the same city.
Deborah told TMZ that Reche was getting ready to take his girlfriend out on a date. When he went back inside his home on 3600 block of East Hanna Ave in Tampa to grab a jacket, a “couple of people” jumped out of bushes, ambushed him, tried to rob him and shot him in the leg and chest, the girlfriend told the publication.
“He was a good person who smiled all of the time,” Deborah said of Reche. “He tried to help everyone he could. He was the type of guy who would take his shirt off his back and give it to you.”
Also, Deborah told The Tampa Bay Times that Reche had been heading to a concert at Whiskey North in Carrollwood, Florida. He was “a tremendous athlete” who would have played in the big leagues if he had decided to go baseball, the publication quoted his high school baseball coach Pop Cuesta as saying.
Reche played in the NFL as a wide receiver from 2002 to 2008. His younger brother Andre Jerome “Bubba” Caldwell, born in Tampa on April 15, 1985, also played for the NFL as a wide receiver from 2008 to 2016.
Having appeared in 71 career games for the San Diego Chargers, the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins with 29 starts, Reche caught 152 passes for 1,851 yards and 11 touchdowns. Here are 13 more things about the late NFL star:
- When he attended Jefferson High School in Tampa, he played not only football but also basketball and baseball.
- From 1998 to 2001, he was a three-year letterman in the University of Florida in Gainesville in, Alachua County, Florida for coach Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators teams.
- In 2001, he was a semi-finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award and a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection.
- In the 2002 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers selected him in the second round, making him the 48th choice overall.
- From 2002 to 2005, he played for the San Diego Chargers for four NFL seasons.
- Prior to the 2006 NFL season, he signed with the New England Patriots and was released four days before the first game of the 2007 season.
- During the 2007 NFL season, he appeared in eight games for the Washington Redskins with 15 receptions for 141 yards.
- He signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Rams on March 25, 2008 but he was released during the final preseason roster cuts.
- In January 2014, he was arrested and charged with operating an illegal gambling operation in Tampa.
- On May 14, 2014, he was arrested for drug possession and intent to distribute.
- On January 30, 2015, he was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison and three years probation for possession of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstacy (E) or molly, with intent to distribute and he pleaded guilty to drug charges involving marijuana and ecstasy along with charges involving gambling.
- On December 12, 2019, the Justice Department accused him and 11 other NFL stars of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
- On January 23, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud as he admitted making false claims to the NFL’s health reimbursement account plan.