College football player Jamain Stephens dies at age 20

California University of Pennsylvania

Jamain Stephens, a football player at California University of Pennsylvania and the son of a former Steelers first round-draft pick, has died at the age of 20 of what was initially described as COVID-19 complications but was later said to be unconfirmed.

Stephens had played the last three seasons at California University, which canceled this football season because of the pandemic.

“Jamain was such a wonderful student with a smile on his face every time you saw him,” California University of Pennsylvania Athletic Director Karen Hjerpe said in a statement. “His personality was contagious and he made such a positive impact on everyone he met.”

Pitt safety Damar Hamlin, a high school teammate of Stephens, wrote about his death on Twitter.

“Got out of practice & heard the worst news. RIP JUICE,” Hamlin wrote. “The most genuine & caring soul on this planet. You touched so many w/ love & laughs. Cherish y’all brothers while they still here & PLEASE continue to take this virus seriously. You’ll be missed dearly. I just wanna give your momma the biggest hug bro.”

Stephens’ father, also named Jamain Stephens, played for the Steelers from 1996 to 1998 and for the Bengals from 1999 to 2001.

UPDATE 8:49 p.m. ET: Stephens’ high school, which initially announced that he had died of complications of COVID-19, now says the cause of death is unconfirmed.

17 responses to “College football player Jamain Stephens dies at age 20

  1. very sad, we have to take this virus very seriously people, it goes after young or older people and just when you think it is contained it will come back stronger.

  2. So they canceled the season and still experienced a fatality? Maybe, just maybe, COVID spread off the field too.

  3. Former college player and current college official here. First off, rip to the young man and his family. I am disgusted to see these college games in other states with fans in the stands, let alone playing. I have spoken with multiple former team mates who are doctors and all agree there should be no football at any levels. Whole situation could be fixed by shutting down whole country for 2-3 weeks but cadet bone-spurs doesn’t want to admit he was wrong. Colleges are 100% at fault for allowing students on campus as well.

  4. “So they canceled the season and still experienced a fatality? Maybe, just maybe, COVID spread off the field too.”

    Yes. Who has ever said otherwise?

  5. “So they canceled the season and still experienced a fatality? Maybe, just maybe, COVID spread off the field too.” Yes. Who has ever said otherwise? I’m seriously asking.

  6. The kid was twenty years old … so cancel the myth that Covid doesn’t affect young people. This virus has had a foothold in this country for maybe 9 months now – no one really knows what all the long term effects will be just yet – that’s still in the discovery phase.

    Covid probably did not enter the country via a football field, but however it arrived – in the air, on land, or by sea … it’s nasty – yet some folks want to pretend we can live normally along side it.

    That ain’t gonna happen.

  7. Unfortunately he won’t be the last victim of the greedy colleges that insist on playing football during a pandemic.

  8. Arnold Ziffel says:
    September 9, 2020 at 11:01 am

    The kid was twenty years old … so cancel the myth that Covid doesn’t affect young people. This virus has had a foothold in this country for maybe 9 months now – no one really knows what all the long term effects will be just yet – that’s still in the discovery phase.

    Covid probably did not enter the country via a football field, but however it arrived – in the air, on land, or by sea … it’s nasty – yet some folks want to pretend we can live normally along side it.

    That ain’t gonna happen.

    ——–

    Educate yourself young man. Younger people are affected just differently. Stats do suggest greatly that if you’re younger you have a much much better chance to overcome this thing. With that said kids or younger folks that have or will lose parents suffer too. So many people spend time looking through their own glasses and do not spend enough time trying to look through someone elses. Give it a try folks.

  9. It’s a very sad thing. And a reminder that you just can’t count on anything with this virus. It hasn’t been figured out yet and there are vulnerabilities and aftereffects we haven’t fully realized.

    Condolences to Stephens’s family and loved ones.

  10. This is when it hurts the most, when you hear of a young person dying of this dreaded virus.
    R.I.P. and sincere condolences to his family.

  11. This is why I refuse to watch college football this season. I have no problem with millionaire athletes who have life experience making decisions to play or not. College kids don’t have much life experience and still think they are bulletproof. I expect those entrusted with their wellbeing while they develop to make the right decisions for them even if the college athletes don’t like it. Waiver or no waiver I wouldn’t want it on my conscience that I knew better than to allow games, a player died or had life altering repercussions from the disease, and I allowed it to happen over the almighty dollar.

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