(WBIR) Friends and family are mourning the death of a former Grace Christian Academy football player who passed away on Tuesday.
Will McKamey, 19, of Knoxville collapsed during a football practice for the Naval Academy on Saturday and had been in a coma ever since. The Navy Athletics twitter posted news of his death a little after 11 p.m. Tuesday.
His father, Randy McKamey, coached Will while he played football at Grace Christian Academy. Early Wednesday morning, Will's father tweeted, "Pray for my family. We rejoice that Will is in heaven!"
East Tennesseans have been showing their support for the 19-year-old and his family ever since news of McKamey's collapse on the football field. After he passed away, #livelikewill started trending in Knoxville on Twitter. A flood of tweets from friends, family, and strangers and been filing in, sharing how the young man made such a profound impact on those around him.
The Naval Academy said in a statement that his teammates, classmates, and the Navy football staff have been overwhelmed by the news.
NCAA tweeted Wednesday morning that it's morning the loss of Will McKamey.
Schools across the country tweeted messages of support for the Naval Academy including many of their biggest rivals: the U.S. Military Academy, Duke University, and the University of Notre Dame.
UT Coach Butch Jones also has offered his support for the McKamey family, tweeting his condolences Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, Jones told WBIR contributor John Brice of Volquest.com that he got to know McKamey during recruitment.
"You know, obviously we're keeping Will and his family in our thoughts and prayers. I got to know Will some late in the recruiting process, and great, great person," Jones said during an interview with Brice. "Great character. We're thinking about him every minute of the day. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."
Funeral arrangements have not been announced out at this time.