Robert Grays, a sophomore cornerback at Division-II Midwestern State, died Tuesday as the result of a neck injury suffered during a game on Saturday. He was 19.
Grays was injured while making a tackle late in the fourth quarter of a home game against Texas A&M-Kingsville. He left the field in an ambulance and was later transferred from Wichita Falls in north Texas, where the school is located, to his hometown of Houston, where he died Tuesday night.
“Robert touched many lives while attending the university, but perhaps he will be remembered best for his smile,” school president Suzanne Shipley said in a statement. “He was an inspiration on and off the field to those around him, and he will be remembered with love and affection by his friends, classmates, coaches and teammates.”
Grays, a business major, was a two-year starter at cornerback at Hightower High School in suburban Houston, where he also ran track. He appeared in all 11 of Midwestern State’s games as a true freshman last season and made 24 tackles.
Grays is the second college football player to die this week. Clayton Geib, a 21-year-old offensive lineman at Division-III College of Wooster in Ohio, died after being hospitalized Saturday after complaining he wasn’t feeling well.