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.