Cal U football player, son of former Steeler reportedly dies at age of 21

Local college football player reportedly died from COVID-19 complications

CALIFORNIA, Pa. — A Central Catholic graduate and California University of Pennsylvania football player died Tuesday at the age of 21.

Jamain Stephens was the son of former Steelers offensive tackle Jamain Stephens.

According to the university, the younger Stephens was a business administration major and a senior on the football team. He played in 32 games for the university.

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Our heart goes out to Jamain's family, friends and teammates. Members of the Counseling Center are available to provide support for students.

Posted by California University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

“Jamain was such a wonderful student with a smile on his face every time you saw him,” said athletic director Dr. Karen Hjerpe. “His personality was contagious, and he made such a positive impact on everyone he met.”

Central Catholic High School posted on Facebook that Stephens commonly went by his nickname, “Juice,” and was a defensive lineman for the school. He won two Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League championships and a state championship in 2015.

The high school also released the following statement regarding Stephens' death:

“When we heard the news of Jamain Stephens' death, we as a community were devastated. He was well loved by everyone in our community, and in an effort to get the news out about his death in a timely manner, we mistakenly attributed his death without official confirmation on cause of death. We had obtained the information about his passing from close friends of Jamain, who reached out to us with the news. We apologize for this error, and this information has since been removed from our Facebook announcement dated 9/8/2020. At this time, we do not have official confirmation on his cause of death. Jamain was the embodiment of everything a Central Catholic student should be: kind, gentle, giving, faithful and a friend to all. We pray for Jamain and his friends and family during this terrible time.”

“Rough day. Jamian had a huge impact on our program, was well-liked by everybody. He had a personality that was contagious,” said Cal U head football coach Gary Dunn.

It’s evident that Stephens had a big personality and was loved by so many.

“You could always count on him putting his big hand on ya and saying, ‘What’s up, coach?’ and I’m just going to miss him being around,” Dunn said.

Stephen’s friends are remembering his life and trying to cope with his sudden death. An outpouring of love for Stephens can be seen all over social media.

“He was an all-around great guy and great teammate for our guys, and that’s why it’s hitting them so hard,” Dunn said.

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