Louis Nix III, an All-American defensive tackle at Notre Dame and a third-round NFL Draft pick in 2014, has passed away, his mother announced. Nix was 29.
There are few details as yet about the cause of Nix's death. The former Irish star's mother reported him missing earlier this week in Jacksonville, Florida, and coach Brian Kelly sent out a plea for the public's help in finding him.
"NOTRE DAME Nation: Let’s all do our best to reach out and connect with Louis Nix," Kelly wrote. "Louis, let us know you are doing alright or that you may need your NOTRE DAME family and friends for assistance."
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office reported earlier tonight that Nix had been found, but did not provide an update on his condition. Since then, Nix's mother has confirmed that he passed away.
In the wake of the news, many of Nix's former Irish teammates expressed their grief on social media.
Romeo Okwara: "Devastating. Rest In Peace, Big Lou. Always wanted to put a smile on everyone’s face. Glad I got to share some unforgettable moments with you. You will be greatly missed"
Kyle Rudolph: "(Prayers) For Big Lou's family. Only got to play with him for one year, but his personality was infectious and his smile lit up the room..."
Mike Golic Jr.: "I've typed and deleted so much tonight. there aren't a lot of good words for these situations. we've had too many of them this young. Big Lou was so many bright, wonderful things. RIP. love up your people."
Stephon Tuitt: "Another Teammate life gone to soon. You never know what people are going through because we have such busy lives. It sometimes take moments like this to sit back and appreciate your blessing of being able to breath(e). Love ya and will miss ya buddy"
Nix was a three-year contributor with the Irish, totaling 122 tackles, including 14 for loss and 2 1/2 sacks from 2011 to 2013. His best season came in 2012, when he had 50 tackles, 7 1/2 for loss, a pair of sacks, five pass breakups and a fumble recovery on the way to Third-Team All-American honors and an undefeated regular season for the Irish.
The 6-foot-2, 330-pound Nix was limited to four career NFL games, all in 2015, because of a variety of injuries. In December, the Jacksonville native was shot while filling his car's tires at a gas station in his hometown. At the time, he said he spent more than a week in the hospital and that a bullet entered his lung.