Buckeyes Lose Member of Football Family
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — There were heavy hearts around Columbus Friday as players and friends mourned the loss of Jake Nickle, a volunteer assistant with the Ohio State football strength and conditioning program.
Nickle was involved in a pickup basketball game at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Friday morning when he suddenly fell unconscious to the court, an OSU spokesperson confirmed. He was quickly transported to the Ohio State Medical Center just down the road, but was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
“Just lost a fellow Buckeye today, our Strength Staff will never be the same,” OSU Coordinator of Strength and Conditioning Troy Sutton posted on his personal Twitter account Friday.
“He spent 24 of his last 31 hours on this earth training the Bucks.”
The exact cause of death has not yet been announced, but news spread quickly throughout the Ohio State football team, as players expressed grief over the loss of the guy they knew as “Coach Jake.”
“You really don't realize how precious each and every day of life is until someone passes you know...praying for my man Jake and his family,” senior center Michael Brewster posted on Twitter.
“RIP Jake...take nothing for granted...prayers out to Jake’s family,” linebacker Etienne Sabino posted on his.
The news of Nickle’s tragic death even reached members of the Buckeye family no longer in Columbus, including former All-American safety Kurt Coleman.
“My prayers go out to Jake and his family. He's in your hands Lord,” Coleman posted.
A native of Marysville, Ohio, Nickle played defensive end at Capital University in Columbus, where he also studied Fitness Management. He recorded 21 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one interception as a senior in 2009, while helping the Crusaders to a 7-3 record.
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