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Connelly's dad announced Nick's passing on Twitter on Thursday morning.

By Emily Caron
September 20, 2018

Former Minnesota football player Nick Connelly, 22, died after a three-month battle with cancer. His father, Chuck, announced Connelly's passing on Twitter.

"On Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2018 Heaven needed a right tackle and Nick Connelly got the call," he wrote in a statement. 

The recently retired Gopher was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma in June. After initially responding well to treatment, Connelly's cancer became resistant to all chemotherapy regimens. 

"Nick was a beautiful big strong young athlete with a very kind heart and a great smile," Chuck continued. "Nick also enjoyed playing football for his home state team Minnesota Golden Gophers."

Read the full family's statement below:

Connelly turned 22 on Monday. 

He played his last game for the Gophers on Oct. 7 at Purdue but suffered a concussion. He started five games for the Gophers last season as a redshirt sophomore before retiring from football due to the concussions.

“Our heart breaks and is devastated with losing Nick,’’ the statement continued. “We want to thank the thousands of friends, family and complete strangers from across the entire country today that extended their prayers, kindness and love to Nick and our family. Nick and we were amazed and appreciative at the amount of public notice for Nick’s support. Thank you!"

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