Virginia College Football Player Dies at 18 After Collapsing at Practice

by Keeli Parkey

Sadly, tragedy recently struck the football team of a Virginia school of higher education

According to PEOPLE, an 18-year-old player for Virginia Union University died during conditioning drills for the team’s upcoming season.

The young man who lost his life on the football field was Quandarius Wilburn. He was a defensive end for the Panthers. He reportedly passed away on Sunday, Aug. 8. His surprising death took place while Wilburn was taking part in conditioning activities with his team inside the Honey Stadium on the Virginia Union University campus.

The Virginia university officially acknowledged Wilbrun’s passing in a statement.

“The Virginia Union University family is heartbroken about the passing of a freshman student and football player on Sunday, August 8, 2021. Our primary concern is the well-being of the family and fellow students impacted by this tragedy. Virginia Union stands ready to provide support in any way necessary and available as families and students work to process this devastating loss,” the statement issued by the university also said.

How Quandarius Wilburn spent his final day alive is pretty well known. The 18-year-old reportedly began his Sunday by having breakfast with his football teammates. Following breakfast, Wilburn and his teammates went to church. They followed this with lunch together. Next on the agenda was the conditioning practice during which Wilburn collapsed. These details were shared in a letter shared with the Virginia Union University students and staff.

Following Wilburn’s collapse on Sunday during conditioning, he was quickly placed in an ambulance and taken to the VCU Medical Center. His death occurred later.

Family Member of Virginia Union University Football Player Shared Details About His Cause of Death

What led to the tragic death of Virginia Union University football player Quandarius Wilburn has been shared by one of his closest family members. That person is his grandmother, Sandra Nelson. And, while the results of the autopsy following his death have not been released as of Tuesday, Aug. 10, a cause of death has been announced.

Wilburn’s cause of death, according to Nelson, was cardiac arrest.

“He went into cardiac arrest. They did everything they could to save him, and they couldn’t save him,” Nelson said of Wilburn.

In commenting about her grandson, Wilburn also shared words of praise for the late football player.

“He was a completely healthy guy,” Nelson also shared. “Never did drugs, never smoked. Loved people. Loved life. He made an impact on everybody he met. Everybody loved him. Old people. Young people. He was a positive person, an encourager.”

Wilburn’s grandmother wasn’t the only person who praised the football player after his surprising death. His high school coach also praised Wilburn. That coach is J.B. Arnold. He worked with Wilburn while the football player attended Jefferson County High School. Some of the words of praise Arnold had for the late Wilburn included describing him as someone who “worked his tail off” and also who “never complained.”

Quandarius Wilburn grew up in Wadley, Georgia. It was school that led him to Virginia.

“All he wanted to do was play football and make his family proud,” Wilburn’s uncle Damien Wilburn also said about the late football player. “He was the type of guy, he liked to joke and smile, but he was a very well-mannered young man.”