The following is a release courtesy Notre Dame athletics:
PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Future University of Notre Dame student-athlete Matt James died Friday evening after falling from a third-floor balcony at a
hotel in Panama City, Fla.
James, a 17-year-old senior at Cincinnati’s St. Xavier High School, signed a
letter of intent on Feb. 3 to join the Fighting Irish football team. He was
on spring break with friends when the accident occurred.
“The Notre Dame football program is in a state of disbelief and incredible
sadness with the news of this tragic event,” Notre Dame head football coach
Brian Kelly said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends
of Matt James in this most trying of times.
“On a personal level, I got to know Matt quite well over the past few years
and he was a wonderful young man from a great family. Matt was an extremely
talented person who was very bright and possessed a great dry sense of
humor. He could not wait to join the Notre Dame family.
“My prayers and deepest condolences go out to the James family as well as
the St. Xavier High School and Cincinnati communities.”
James was named to USA Today’s first-team prep All-America team following
his senior season and received All-America accolades from MaxPreps and
SuperPrep. A three-year starter for head coach Steve Specht at St. Xavier,
James participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and also played
basketball at St. Xavier.
Funeral arrangements have not been made but UND.com will be updated with
them once they are available.