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Stetson University football player from Gwinnett collapses on field, dies

Nicholas “Nick” Blakely (Credit: Stetson Athletics)
Nicholas “Nick” Blakely (Credit: Stetson Athletics)

A 19-year-old Stetson University football player from Gwinnett County died after collapsing on the field Monday evening, the school’s president said.

Linebacker Nicholas “Nick” Blakely, a sophomore accounting major at the central Florida university, “was on the sidelines shortly after practice began ... when he complained of not feeling well and collapsed,” Stetson president Wendy B. Libby said in a statement.

He was taken to Florida Hospital DeLand outside of Orlando and later died.

Blakely was a three-year letter winner at Archer High School in Lawrenceville. He was a running back and safety, and also competed on the track team.

An official cause of death has not been released.

Donavon Barker, one of the football coaches at Archer, said he was at “a total loss for words.”

Archer head coach Andy Dyer released this statement: “We are broken hearted at the loss of Nick. Nick was a tremendous student athlete at Archer High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, our Archer family and with his Stetson football family. Nick has impacted many lives and we are all going to miss his gentle spirit and his million dollar smile.”

@nickblakely It was truly a blessing to coach you while I gained a brother as well.God got an angel https://t.co/rptfK8oUKQ you Nick

😢

Explore#Rip
Explorepic.twitter.com/rmvZpDgyWv

— Coach Barker (@DBarker2442)

ExploreAugust 29, 2017

Teammates and friends also posted tributes on social media.

My heart is extremely heavy rn, and I'm a wreck b/c you left this earth way too soon.. I love you Nicky, rest easy

😞👼🏽🙏🏽❤️.

Explore@nickblakely
Explorepic.twitter.com/wHmKndtksg

— nicole 😌🤘🏼 (@nicole_reuss)

ExploreAugust 29, 2017

An informal gathering of Blakely's friends will be held at the university’s Allen Hall at noon, Libby said in the statement.

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