Notre Dame Recruit Matt James Dies from Fall

By: Nick Shepkowski and 670 The Score

Matt James, Notre Dame's top offensive line recruit in this years class passed away Friday in Panama City, Florida while on spring break.  He was a week shy of his 18th birthday.

James fell from a fifth story hotel balcony and died instantly.  Panama City Beach Police Maj. David Humphreys said that according to those who witnessed the accident, James was drunk and some of his friends were trying to calm him down as he leaned over the fifth floor balcony, while pointing his finger at neighbors he fell.

James was 6'6'' and 291 pounds and regarded as one of the top recruits in this years incoming class for Notre Dame.  James was a USA Today high school all american and helped lead Cincinnati's St. Xavier High School to a final #4 ranking in Ohio.  Being from Cincinnati he had already developed a strong relationship with Brian Kelly, as Kelly recruited him heavily in his days at Cincinnati.

Kelly said of James:  ""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."

Luke Massa, a high school friend and teammate and fellow Notre Dame recruit of James was "devastated" according to his mother, Mary Massa.

Funeral arrangements are pending for James, thoughts and prayers to those who knew him.


Former teammates and friends of James mourn together at the 50 yard line of St. Xavier High School's football field after hearing the news of his death.

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