Uche Nwaneri, former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback, dies at 38


Former Jacksonville Jaguars forward Uche Nwaneri has died. He was 38 years old.

Nwaneri died Friday at his wife’s home in West Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported, citing West Lafayette Police Department and Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello.

According to reports, Nwaneri was driving from Georgia to see his wife on New Year’s Eve but collapsed early on Friday. Costello said Nwaneri’s wife found him unresponsive in one of the bedrooms around 1 a.m. Friday and called 911.

An autopsy on Monday showed no signs of foul play and suggested Nwaneri died of a heart attack, although his toxicology results are pending.

He “played 7 seasons with the @Jaguars from 2007-2013 and has a strong bond with Jags fans to this day” wrote Jaguars owner Tony Hahn. “On behalf of the Jaguars organization and my family, our thoughts are with Uche’s family and friends at this terrible time.”

Nwaneri’s parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria in 1973. When they were born in Dallas in 1984, he was named Uchechukwu, which means “God’s Will” in his native language. Nwaneri joined the Boilermakers football team at Purdue University in West Lafayette in 2003.

He was suspended for the fall semester of 2005 after breaking teammate Ryan Noblet’s jaw in July 2005 during a practice fight. Nwaneri returned to the team in the spring of 2006 and ended the Boilermaker’s run with one final season before being drafted by the NFL.

Selected by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Nwaneri played 104 games with the team and started 92, according to NBC Sports. He was released after the 2013 season and joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2014, but was ultimately waived within months.

Nwaneri came to prominence through his popular YouTube channel ‘The Observant Lineman’ with over 35,000 subscribers. He and other former footballers regularly discussed the latest matches and exchanged views on videos.

Many former teammates and reporters expressed condolences over Nwaneri’s death, including Boilermakers teammate Noblet, who told the Journal & Courier, “I’m sorry to hear of his passing.”

“Uche was a great person,” Jordan Voy, his former agent, told Fan Nation. “He was a very interesting person and had deep, valuable and informative thoughts on sports, politics and life.”

Others shared their reactions on social media:


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