Less than two weeks before National Signing Day, tragedy has struck the recruiting trail.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, New Orleans high schooler Devin Winters was found unconscious in his home last Thursday night and was unable to be revived. He was just 19 years old.
Details surrounding Winters’ passing, including a cause of death, have not been revealed.
“I’m so proud of him, and he was so loved,” Winters’ mother, Cavanda Kelley, told the Times-Picayune. “I know he’s in a better place right now. It’s hard. I’m trying. I’ve got a lot of support, and I thank everybody for it. [There are] so many people out here, half of them I don’t even know, but I’m thankful and grateful for everybody who came out to show love and support for my son.”
Winters, a two-star defensive lineman, was scheduled to take an official visit to Syracuse this weekend and then take one to Ole Miss the following weekend, just a couple of days before signing day. The Daily Advertiser labeled Winters as a soft commit to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns along with the Power Five interest.
“Very saddened by the unexpected (news),” former UL head coach and current Mississippi State tight ends coach Mark Hudspeth told the paper. Billy Napier, the coach who replaced Hudspeth with the Ragin’ Cajuns, had continued to recruit the lineman.
Winters had also held offers from, among others, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas, Oregon State and SMU.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those affected by Winters’ passing.