Picture courtesy of UHND.com
Tragic news out of Panama City, Florida where yesterday star Notre Dame offensive lineman recruit Matt James died after falling off a third-story balcony at a Days Inn while vacationing for spring break. James was set to enroll at Notre Dame in two months and was just one week short of his 18th birthday. According to police reports he died instantly.
“The Notre Dame football program is in a state of disbelief and incredible sadness with the news of this tragic event,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a press statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Matt James in this most trying of times.”
“On a personal level, I got to know Matt quite well over the past few years and he was a wonderful young man from a great family. Matt was an extremely talented person who was very bright and possessed a great dry sense of humor. He could not wait to join the Notre Dame family,” Kelly said. “My prayers and deepest condolences go out to the James family as well as the St. Xavier High School and Cincinnati communities.”
James by all accounts was an excellent person as well as a football player. He was selected to the first team All-USA Today Team and was a Top 100 recruit according to Rivals.com. The Cincinnati recruit picked Notre Dame over Ohio State on signing day two months ago and was considered a major recruiting coup for new coach Brian Kelly. Toxicology tests and an investigation has been launched into the cause of James death.
R.I.P. MATT JAMES