20-Year-Old College Football Player Jamain Stephens Dies From Coronavirus Complications (UPDATE)

UPDATED 9/9, 2:30 p.m. ET: Jamain Stephen’s high school, Central Catholic, redacted its initial Facebook claiming that Stephens died of COVID-19. The school also apologized.

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According to ESPN, no cause of death has been given.

See original story below. 

College football player Jamain Stephens passed away from coronavirus complications on Tuesday, ProFootballTalk reports.

The 20-year-old defensive end played his last three seasons at the California University of Pennsylvania and was set to register as a senior Business Administration major for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

“Jamain was such a wonderful student with a smile on his face every time you saw him,” Athletic Director Karen Hjerpe said in a statement, per Yahoo Sports. “His personality was contagious and he made such a positive impact on everyone he met.”

Stephens is the son of Jamain Stephens, Sr. who played offensive tackle in the NFL for five seasons after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1996 NFL draft.

As of Wednesday, there have been around 145,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, resulting in over 7,000 deaths. In July, the Division II university voted to suspend all fall sports for the 2020 season, following in the footsteps of some of the biggest college football programs in the country. 

Despite calls from some of the sport’s biggest stars to play football this year, Stephens’ death is yet another stark reminder that the virus still poses a risk to young athletes in peak physical condition. Last month, ESPN reported that Myocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart muscle, has been discovered in a number of college football players who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.


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