Matt James Dies in Fall

Incoming freshman Matt James fell to his untimely death on Friday night while vacationing in Florida. (Photo - IconSMI)

Tragedy struck the Notre Dame community on Friday when news began to spread that incoming freshman Matt James fell to his untimely death while vacationing in Florida.  He was just a few weeks away from his 18th birthday and months away from beginning his college career.

The fall occurred early Friday evening and has been confirmed by several media outlets.  James, a national top 100 recruit, was one of the jewels of Brian Kelly’s first recruiting class and had a very bright future ahead of him.  At a time like this, however, football is the furthest things from everyone’s minds.

No word has come from Notre Dame at this point, but the father of Luke Massa, James’ high school teammate and fellow incoming Notre Dame freshman, was reached by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“Luke is devastated,” Massa’s father, Gary, said late Friday. “He lost one of his best friends.”

“This kid was a great kid, I can tell you that,” Gary Massa said of James.

This is a devastating loss for the Notre Dame and St. Xavier High School communities.   James was a young man with a world of potential and was just about to embark on his dream of playing college football.   He would have been an outstanding member of both the Notre Dame football team and community.

Unfortunately, James will not get that chance and the Notre Dame community will not get the chance to watch him develop both on and off the football field while attending the University.

The thoughts and prayers of the UHND community go out to the James family at this tough time.

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  1. Coach Brian Kelly recently stated that Matt Jame was, and still is, a part of this ND team.
    I have no doubt that the young man had dreams of running out of the tunnel at historic Notre Dame Stadium.
    Perhaps between the University, and the James family, they can find a worthy and suitiable stand-in or proxy, to assume the roll of Matt James and run out of the tunnel with his teammates on his behalf.
    Since Notre Dame players don’t wear their names on their jerseys, this proxy player/person, with the name “James” on his jersey, running from the tunnel with the rest of his teammates, would stand as an honor to a fallen teammate and a insperation to all.
    I think a brother or sister of Matt James would be ideal as his stand – in.
    Matt James was cut short of his dream. His mother, father, and family,were robbed of a great moment of pride and honor as well. To give the family this memory of a life time, seems very simple and doable within the ND family.
    I know if he was my son, this is what I would want.

  2. Heartfelt sympathies. No family avoids the pain of alcohol and drugs. One moment can destroy a lifetime of promise. May the ND community come together to celebrate his life and do what we can to honor one of our own.

  3. I agree – tragic and senseless. Apparently he was drunk and belligerent leaning over the railing at his hotel balcony yelling at his friends in the room over while on a school trip. I’m glad the Police are looking into finding whoever supplied the kids with alcohol. Unbelievable.

  4. to the james family our thoughts and prayers, he will always be a fighting irish playing for God’s team. May he be in heaven an hour before the devil knows he’s dead

  5. Now that is has been confirmed, we as a society have to do a better job with these kids drinking. Tragic and senseless.

  6. This is tragic; my thoughts and prayers are with the James family as well as the St. Xavier family.

  7. Shocking news…. This kids life was just getting started…to loose his life this early simply isn’t fair.

  8. Such a tragic loss for his family. It feels so crushing, I think the way in which we follow the recruitment of these kids on the sight and witness their decision process you feel like you know that at some level. As a father, I feel awful for his parents I can not even imagine their pain.

  9. Abundant blessings to the James family as well as all those that loved Matt. I hope the loving care of the Notre Dame and St. Xavier communities will be of everlasting comfort to the James family. God bless you Matt James, always, and in all ways. Cheer Cheer for young Matt James!

  10. what a terrible circumstance, if the james family wants to starts a scholarship i, along with many others, am willing to donate, I had a high school teammate who died and it was the most heartbreaking moment of my life, i am soooo sorry.

  11. So sad. My prayers will be constant to his family and friends. May God lay his hands of peace and comfort on you all. Matt is in a wonderful place now playing on God’s team.

  12. Matt was a caring, loving person who will be loved and missed forever. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. We miss you matt

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