ATLANTA — A high school football player has died from injuries sustained during a scrimmage Friday night.
De’Antre Turman, 16, of Creekside High School, was taken to Grady hospital after being injured during the game, and was pronounced dead overnight.
Saturday evening, a Fulton County medical examiner ruled the cause of death was from a fracture of the third cervical vertebrae.
Witnesses at the scrimmage at Banneker High School, including Turman’s coach from an after-school college prep program, IDareU, Glenn Ford, watched Turman cover the Banneker receiver. The receiver caught the ball downfield and Turman immediately tackled him.
As Ford says, Turman “just immediately went limp.”
“It was a fundamental tackle, Ford said. “(Turman’s) head was up. It was a clean tackle. It was a clean tackle. He went down. Only God knows. You know, only God knows what happened.
“He was an outstanding kid, you know, through adversity, through all the adversity that he’d been going through, losing his mom, you know, he was just a good kid,” Ford added.
The 5-foot-11, 164-pound junior was a cornerback for the Seminoles and was just named the Top Defensive Back at MVP Camp this past June.
According to 247sports.com, he had a scholarship offer to play football at the University of Kentucky.
Another former coach of Turman, George Purvis, knew the football player since he was 7 years old.
“Oh man. It’s hard. It’s hard. I mean, he’s a special kid,” he said.
“His goal was to play pro football. And he was one of the special ones that had a good chance to do it.”
The Georgia High School Association released a statement via their Facebook page.
“Any kind of death of an adolescent, it’s a tragedy,” said Dr. Ralph Swearngin, GHSA Executive Director. “You think about the loss to the family and a young life being cut off whether it’s an athletic event or car accident or natural causes. As a father and grandfather, it strikes you personally.”
Ron Nakfoor works at WXIA-TV Atlanta, a Gannett property.