Julian Love's homecoming in Chicago on Sunday was a bittersweet one. For one, he was playing in the NFL for the first time in his city with friends and family watching from the stands. However, a couple friends he was hoping to see weren't there for very unfortunate circumstances.
Love's childhood friends in Joey Ramos and Tony Lemon tragically died after their car plunged into Lake Michigan last Sunday. The car was recovered on Tuesday, just five days before Love was supposed to hit the turf at Soldier Field.
"Joey was a big Bears fan, and this is the game where, I have no doubt they'd be there Sunday cheering me on," Love told NorthJersey.com's Art Stapleton. "It's hard, it's definitely hard, but they'll be with me this way, too. They'll be there in spirit."
Well, Ramos and Lemon were definitely there for Love as he had himself a career day.
He took more snaps at safety during practice this week, and Love got his opportunity to make an impact in that role when Jabrill Peppers went out. And Love almost made an immediate impact when he laid out for a tipped pass that just went through his hands that would've been his first career interception.
But Love more than made up for it later on when he picked off Mitch Trubisky to start the fourth quarter, and returned it 30 yards to give the Giants great field position.
Coming out of Notre Dame, Love was known to be a ballhawk and a guy that had a knack of being in the right spot at the right time. Love will certainly be getting more reps at safety with Peppers out a bit with a tranverse process fracture as well.
It's always a surreal moment capturing your first career interception, and Love did so with the initials of Ramos and Lemon etched on his wrist bands.
"Very sudden, and you feel that loss, you really feel that, and I'm feeling that heartache," Love said. "We played Little League ball together growing up, very close family friends, used to be over their houses all the time, a super sad thing. Kept in touch when I went to college, two great guys, great people. I wish I could've seen them more."