Matt James, only 17, and a Notre Dame football freshman recruit had his whole life ahead of him. Sadly, while on Spring Break, the young teen fell to his death after reportedly partying at a local hotel. The tragic loss of such a gifted athlete has shocked friends and family.
A gentle giant, he stood at 6 foot 6 and 250 pounds. Only one week away from his 18th birthday, the football player fell off a third-floor balcony. He is presumed to have died instantly.
“A lovable kid,” said Steve Specht, James’ football coach at St. Xavier High School. “He was a mountain of a man, but he had the biggest heart. Matt made everybody around him a better person.” James was rank number 86 offensive tackle prospect by Rivals.com.
His parents learned of their sons death at a 50th birthday party for his Uncle. His family flew to Florida on a private jet that a family friend provided, Specht said. They returned Saturday, and Specht said the family was hopeful James’ body would return to Ohio early this week.
His parents in a statement said, “We would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this tragic time, particularly the family at St. X, Matt was a very special young man, and it is gratifying to us that you all could see that as well. We are touched by this outpouring of love.”
Funeral arrangements are currently being planned and will be announced soon. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.