Robert Grays was having the game of his life on Saturday as his Midwestern State University squad was beating Texas A&M-Kingsville 35-13.
The 19-year-old sophomore had matched a career-high with seven tackles, with his team about to improve to 2-0 on the season. Saturday ended up being Grays' final game.
With 3:24 remaining in the fourth quarter, Grays went in for a tackle, severely injuring his neck. After being transported to Houston for treatment, Grays died on Tuesday from the injury.
Grays was the squad's starting cornerback, and also played on special teams. Grays was a graduate of Fort Bend L.V. Hightower High School in Missouri City, Texas.
"We are saddened by the loss of Robert Grays, one of our own. This is not an easy time for anyone associated with the football program," MSU coach Bill Maskill said. "He was a tremendous individual. I really believe he might have been the most popular man on our team.
"He always had a smile on his face. I never saw him have a bad day. He was an uplifting spirit for all of us. He was an exciting, fun loving guy. He's going to be sorely missed. Somehow, someway we'll find a way to fight through it. Robert would want us to forge ahead."
Saturday marked a deadly day in college football. Fellow college football player Clayton Geib died on Sunday, one day after being hospitalized for severe cramping and hyperventilating following a game.
CBS Sports reported that Grays' death was the fifth involving a college football player this year.
Midwestern State competes at the NCAA Division II level.