High school football player dies after ‘horrific accident’ during practice drill

A 19-year-old Stetson University football player died Monday evening after collapsing during practice, the school said.

Nick Blakely told coaches at about 7:30 p.m. Monday that he was feeling light-headed and dizzy and had an increased heart rate, officials said.

Police said Blakely was pulled from practice and began drinking water on the sidelines.

A source told that Blakely said his chest was hurting, so his teammates told him to tell a trainer. Blakely lifted his shirt and his teammates thought something didn’t look right, the source said.

Police said Blakely collapsed and appeared to have a seizure. Someone started performing CPR on him until he was taken to Florida Hospital DeLand, where he died.

DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar called Blakely’s death a tragic loss for the community.

“The city of DeLand joins the Stetson University community in mourning the loss of Nick Blakely,” Apgar said. “Our hearts go out to his family, teammates, coaching staff, faculty, students and everybody who called Nick a friend.”

The sophomore, who graduated from Archer High School near Lawrenceville, Georgia, was majoring in accounting. The linebacker redshirted last season and didn’t see playing time.

Blakely was a three-year letter winner in high school as a running back and safety. He also competed on the school’s track team.

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