Portland State linebacker AJ Schlatter died Sunday night after a throat surgery complication.
Schlatter’s father Jim posted on Facebook indicating that a blood clot may have developed in his son’s throat following surgery to remove his tonsils on Friday.
“My heart is with the Schlatter family. They are our focus right now,” Portland State coach Bruce Barnum said. “We lost a diamond that will never be replaced. He was the definition of what we are about at PSU.”
The 20-year-old redshirt freshman recorded 62 tackles and 6.5 for loss this season for a Vikings team that finished 9–3 and advanced to the FCS playoffs. He also posted two fumble recoveries, two sacks and an interception in 2015.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Schlatter family with all the compassion and sympathy we can bring to bear during this difficult time,” Portland State athletic director Mark Rountree said. “Things like this aren’t supposed to happen. We cherish every student’s well-being, and the loss of AJ will be tough on our family. He represented his family and Portland State with passion, courage and humility that made us all proud. He will be missed.”
A former walk-on who eventually earned a full scholarship with the team, Schlatter was the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 21.