19-year-old college football player collapses post-practice, dies

DELAND, FL - The Stetson University football team is starting the season by mourning the loss of one of their own.

The university confirmed Nicholas Blakely, a 19-year-old sophomore from Lawrenceville, Ga. collapsed following football practice Monday evening and died.

Blakely, known as Nick to friends, was on the sidelines shortly after practice when university officials said he complained of not feeling well and collapsed. He was transported by ambulance to Florida Hospital DeLand.

The sophomore linebacker was a graduate of Archer High School in Georgia, according to a Gwinnett County Public Schools spokesperson. Blakely played for Archer’s football team under Coach Andy Dyer, earning letters three years, according to his Stetson 2017 team bio. The accomplished athlete also competed on the high school’s track team.

Stetson University football practice has been cancelled and flags are lowered to half-staff on campus in Blakely's honor. 

Stetson University President, Dr. Wendy B. Libby, released the following statement in response to Blakely’s passing:

It is with great sadness that I inform the university that Nicholas Adam Blakely, a 19-year-old sophomore accounting major from Lawrenceville, Georgia, passed away this evening.

Nicholas, known as Nick to his friends, is a member of the Stetson University football team and was on the sidelines shortly after practice began this evening when he complained of not feeling well and collapsed. Nick was transported by ambulance to Florida Hospital DeLand.

Nick's parents have been notified. Coach Roger Hughes has informed the football team. Athletic Director Jeff Altier is informing members of the Athletic Department, and the university is contacting Nick's faculty.

Counselors have been on hand at the Athletic Training Center with the football team.  If you need counseling, you can contact them at (386) 822-8900 from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM.  If you are in urgent need to speak to a counselor outside of those hours, you can contact Public Safety at (386) 822-7300 and ask to speak with the on-call counselor.  You can also contact the Chaplains http://www.stetson.edu/administration/chaplain/

More information will follow shortly regarding a memorial. An informal gathering of Nick's friends and colleagues will be held at Allen Hall Tuesday, August 29, at noon.  

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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