The father of the standout high school quarterback in Georgia who died earlier this month said at his son's funeral Tuesday that early reports linking his son's death to complications after a routine surgery were not true.
James Roper, Robbie Roper's father, addressed the 1,000 mourners at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia, according to USA Today.
"And he didn’t kill himself. I want to make sure that’s clear. But even at the hospital, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him," he said.
The report said Robbie Roper got sick while he visited family in St. Augustine, Florida. The paper said there was no autopsy.
The 18-year-old was well-loved and praised for his skill on the field and character in the community. He had just completed a successful season at Roswell High School and had been giving thought to where he wanted to play college ball.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier that his coach said he had been hospitalized in Gainesville after the surgery. Chris Prewett, the coach, said Roper was a "model citizen" who fought to the end "like he did everything else."
Roper led Roswell High to a 10-3 record and final top-10 ranking in Georgia’s Class 7A.
He threw for 3,010 yards and 37 touchdowns and had offers from Massachusetts, Morehead State, Morgan State and Western Carolina, according to the 247 Sports website.
"Robbie was everything that I wish I could be," James Roper said, according to the Journal-Constitution. "He loved everybody."
The Associated Press contributed to this report