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.