Cal freshman LB Chris Fatilua suffers serious spinal cord injury in accident

Dr. Saturday
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Cal linebacker Chris Fatilua suffered a serious spinal cord injury earlier this week.

In a statement released through the football program, Fatilua’s family said the injury was sustained in “an accident that occurred Monday afternoon in San Diego.”

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“He is receiving treatment for his injury and his long-term prognosis is unknown at this time. Our family is tremendously appreciative of the support we have received from everyone at this difficult time,” the family’s statement said. “It is reassuring and inspirational to know that we will have that support as we begin the recovery process and tackle the challenges ahead. At this time we ask that our privacy be respected to help allow our family and those closest to us to focus on Chris’ recovery.”

Fatilua, a San Diego native, signed with Cal in the class of 2018 and was expected to arrive on campus later this summer.

“Our hearts and minds are with incoming freshman Chris Fatilua and his family at this difficult time,” Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said. “The most important thing to focus on right now and in the immediate future is Chris’ recovery. Our Cal family will be there to support them in every way possible now and when Chris is ready to join us in Berkeley.”

A 6-foot-2, 220-pound middle linebacker out of Madison High School, Fatilua had 226 tackles and 29 tackles for loss during his varsity career. He was a two-star recruit who chose the Golden Bears over offers from Bowling Green, Hawaii, Navy, Oregon State and Vanderbilt.

“Chris is an excellent all-around football player who has the ability to come in and be a steadying force in our linebacker core. He has all the intangibles that you look for and we expect him to make an impact early in his Cal career,” Wilcox said when announcing Cal’s 2018 signing class.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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