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Cal U Football Player Dies of COVID-19 Complications

Jamain Stephens, an NCAA Division II football player at California University of Pennsylvania, passed away this week with the university’s athletic department confirming his death. It appears Stephens, a senior defensive lineman, died from complications of COVID-19, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Nicknamed ‘Juice’, Stephens, 20, played in 32 games over three seasons and was a business administration major. His father, also named Jamain, was an NFL offensive lineman from 1996 to 2003.

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Photo: Mike Strasser / Creative Commons

“Jamain was such a wonderful student with a smile on his face every time you saw him,” Cal U athletic director Karen Hjerpe said in a statement. “His personality was contagious and he made such a positive impact on everyone he met.”

The conference in which Cal U plays in, the Pennslyvania State Athletic Conference, suspended all competition for the fall semester in July in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Soon after the NCAA Division II Council canceled fall sports championships in August.

Stephens was a fixture at Central Catholic High School (PA) and his former head coach confirmed to the Post-Gazette that the only thing bigger than his body was his personality.

“It was universal,” Terry Totten, Stephens’ high school football coach told the PP-G. “He lit up a room. Whether you were a freshman or senior in class, you knew who he was.”

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The death of the 6-foot-3, 355-pound lineman comes as a recent study suggested that a number of players from the Big Ten Conference who tested positive from COVID-19 developed myocarditis.

To read the full obituary of Stephens from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, click here