Division II college football player dies at 20, school corrects coronavirus report

The school had canceled the football season over the pandemic

A Division II college football player, and son of a former Pittsburgh Steelers first-round draft pick, died Tuesday.

Jamain Stephens, who played at the California University of Pennsylvania, was 20. California plays in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and canceled its season over the pandemic.

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

Stephens, a junior defensive lineman, played in 32 games for the Vulcans between 2017 and 2019. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was set to turn 21 on Sept. 21.

An initial obituary from the newspaper said that Stephens had died from coronavirus complications but Central Catholic High School later wrote in a Facebook post that they "mistakenly attributed his death without official confirmation on cause."

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“He was such a positive person that really cared about everyone,” A.J. Beatty, a former high school football teammate of Stephens’ told the newspaper. “Every single person at [Central Catholic High School] knew ‘Juice.’ He had the ability to take over an entire room of people with his positive energy. One of the few people in life that you will meet that there’s nothing to say bad about. Did so much for the Central community. It was truly amazing. Such an awesome person all around.”

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Stephens’ father, also named Jamain, was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 1996 draft. The elder Stephens played from 1997 to 2001 as an offensive lineman for the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.