A standout player for Georgia Tech’s football team in his heyday, Jesse Arthiniel Tarplin played defensive end after outgrowing his linebacker position that earned him the status as the 10th best linebacker in the nation. A student at Cross Keys High School, he was elected to Blue Chips Illustrated Dream Team prep all-America squad. While at Georgia Tech from 1995-98, Tarplin earned all-conference honors as a senior and had 14 career sacks, ranking seventh on Tech’s career list. He was recruited by the New York Giants as a free agent in 1999.
A Decatur, Georgia, native, Tarplin was killed in a car crash on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, near Murray Brothers Funeral Home, which is located on Utoy Springs Road, near Cascade. An 11-year veteran of the MARTA Police Department, Tarplin, 38, was leading a funeral procession, while off-duty on his personal motorcycle. The crash occurred around 12:45 p.m. and Tarplin was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
The Fulton County Police Department is leading the investigation. No charges are expected to be filed against the driver of the vehicle in the funeral procession that collided with Tarplin. Tarplin hit the SUV while it was stopped.
He leaves to cherish his memory two sons, three daughters and his wife who is currently six months pregnant.