Less than a month ago, Folabi Akanbi signed on to play football at Montana State in the fall. He was excited, just like hundreds of other young men around the country signing to play college football.
Akanbi was a senior offensive lineman at Glenda Dawson High School in Pearland, Texas. He collapsed on Wednesday afternoon playing a pickup basketball game, and was pronounced dead at the hospital, the Associated Press reported. NBCMontana.com said he died of cardiac arrest. He was just 17 years old.
The news of his passing is unspeakably sad.
The picture at the top of the post, which is the Twitter avatar photo on an account that appears to be his (a Montana State spokesman confirmed the picture is of him and that the Twitter account was his too as far as the school knows), is just part of the joy Akanbi expressed about signing on to be a college football player and attending Montana State, especially on Feb. 6, which was signing day.
#NationalSigningDay been waiting for this day for the longest time
— Folabi Akanbi (@FolabtimusPrime) February 6, 2013
Everyone come the library after school today for me, James white, and josh Lewis signing party at 2:30!!!!! — Folabi Akanbi (@FolabtimusPrime) February 6, 2013
That's incredibly sad to see given the news of his death, but at least he did get to experience that joy on signing day.
When Akanbi signed, Montana State Rob Ash said he was impressed with the young man's academic ability, and that he planned to major in chemical engineering, according to the AP.
“Our hearts go out to Folabi’s family and friends, and his teammates and coaches," Ash said in a statement. "He was a wonderful young man who captivated everyone he met, and had such an incredibly bright future. This tragedy leaves us without words to properly express our sorrow."