Local football player dies after collapsing at college practice

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s a hard pill to swallow. A community takes the loss of one it’s own hard. Loved ones are prepared to come together to remember a local football player who died last weekend. A prayer vigil Thursday tonight for a football player from Jefferson County who died last weekend. The community coming together to remember him.

On Sunday,19-year-old Quandarius Wilburn collapsed during football practice at his Virginia Union University. The school says he later died at the hospital.

Wilburn just graduated from Jefferson County High School this spring where he played football.

On the field where Quin Wilburn first learned to play football, friends and family are now gathered in his memory. Wadley Police Chief Tommie Walker said this community lives by the motto ‘We are Wadley and we are one.’ And right now they’re rallying behind this family because as Walker says, when one person goes through a tragedy, this whole community goes through it.

In a town with a population of fewer than 2,000 people, Quin Wilburn was a big fish in a small pond. Not because of his size, though at 6′2, 230 pounds, the former Jeff Co standout had plenty of that. But because of the size of his heart.

“Quin was just a lovable person. There wasn’t nothing that you couldn’t like about him. He was friendly, nice, funny,” said Caleb Moore, a lifelong friend of Quin’s.

Now, across Wadley, hearts are broken. Quin Wilburn died after collapsing at football practice at Virginia Union University on Sunday. Friends had just spoken to him earlier that day.

“Quin sent me a text. Happy birthday I love you,” said Moore.

Moore says Quin was the kind of person you want your kids to be around. Walker says Quin had a bright future, and he was excited to watch him continue to grow.

“He was good to be around. Good to be around. Loving loving kid man. It’s a hard pill to swallow. A very hard pill to swallow,” said Walker.

The kid with the big heart, leaving a big hole in this community.

If you had one more conversation with Quin, if you were able to talk to him one more time, what would you say?

“Thank you for being the best of friends. Thank you for meaning so much to me. Being my big brother,” said Moore.

Caleb Moore who you just heard from there has known Quin almost his whole life. He says he had just talked to quin a few hours before he died Sunday. And Quin’s last words to him were be safe bro. I love you. From everyone we’ve spoken to around town today, that’s a message Quin made sure everyone heard loud and clear.

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