MaxPreps All-American and Notre Dame football signee Matt James died on Friday night after a fall from a balcony while on vacation in Florida, according to reports in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
James, 17, died almost instantly after a three story fall from the Days Inn Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach, Fla.
In addition to being one of the country's most sought-after offensive linemen and one of the top recruits for the Fighting Irish, James, a three-year starter for St. Xavier, was well-liked and well-respected in the Bombers' community.
By Saturday morning, a Facebook group
titled R.I.P. Matt James had over 3,000 members. A tribute video
to James had already been created.
One poster on the Facebook group described the 6-foot-7, 290-pound James as a "teddy bear."
The school held a vigil late Friday night to help students cope with the news of James' death. The St. Xavier community was rocked by a student's death earlier in the school year, when Kevin Le, 16, was struck and killed by a car in September.
Teammate Luke Massa, a quarterback who also signed a letter of intent to play for Notre Dame, was in Florida with James.
"Luke is devastated," his father, Gary, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He lost one of his best friends."
Panama City Beach Police are still investigating and more details are expected later today.
More details here