Officials say a heart condition was the cause of an 18-year-old University of Maine football player's on-field death.
Darius Minor, an 18-year-old freshman political science major, collapsed on the field and died during a light workout last month at the Orono campus.
The Maine Medical Examiner's Office said Tuesday that Minor's death was due to "acute aortic dissection with cardiac tamponade with hypertensive cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor," according to News Center Maine.
"Why Darius? Out of everybody, it just makes no sense to us right now," high school classmate Aizaya Evans said after his death. "I miss him already."
According to UMaine football coach Joe Harasymiak, freshman players were starting a light workout on the football field Tuesday afternoon. The players completed one drill, and were taking a water break on the hot and humid day. Harasymiak said Minor said he felt like he might pass out — and moments later, he did. He could not be resuscitated.
"There's no script for this," said Harasymiak in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. "I told the team this morning this is way bigger than football. This is the most adverse situation we will be in together."
Hours before his death, Minor tweeted about his excitement for the upcoming football season. "I'm coming for everything this year," the tweet said.
"Truly blessed," he tweeted after committing to play football at UMaine last February. "Can't wait to see what god has in store for me."
Friends describe Minor as hard-working, focused, and someone everyone looked up to and wanted to be around.
"He was like our local superstar," said Orange County High School football coach Jesse Lohr. "We loved him, and will always."
UMaine's football coach said he will be retiring Minor's #39 jersey for the next four years.