Portland State University is in mourning following the death of one of its football stars. The team’s freshman linebacker, AJ Schlatter, was only 20 years old when he tragically died on Jan. 17, just two days after he had his tonsils removed.
SO sad. AJ Schlatter, a 20-year-old football player at Portland State University, died after undergoing a common tonsillectomy on Jan. 15. His father confirmed the news and revealed the likely cause of death on Facebook in the early morning of Jan. 18, just hours after his son was declared dead. Read the post here.
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“We lost our son tonight, Aj Schlatter,” James wrote on the social media site, along with photo of the young athlete. “I want to thank the efforts of the Canby Police and Fire departments, as well as the emergency staff at Willamette falls hospital. I failed my son tonight. Believe he might have developed a blood clot after his surgery for the removal of his tonsils on Friday. I could not recessatate (sic) him nor did the best efforts by ems and the emergency room staff. Aj Schlatter passed away approximately 9:15 Sunday evening. He was such an inspiration to me and I was and am so PROUD to be his father. In his 20+ years he became a greater man then I could ever dream of becoming! He loved being a member of the PSU Vikings Football team and the players were like brothers to him. I am truly thankful for Coach Barton and the entire coaching staff and support staff for how they embraced him and provided the opportunity for him to develop and shine. I miss my son. Parents hug and love your kids today. Kids tell your parents just how much you love them. Better yet show each other every day! I am so thankful I could and did tell AJ each and every time we talked either in person or not just how much I loved him. Don’t waste an opportunity.”
The Vikings’ coach, Bruce Barnum, also added, “We lost a diamond that will never be replaced. He was the definition of what we are at PSU.” AJ was a redshirt freshman walk-on at PSU, but became a starter in his first season on the field in 2015, playing 11 games total and starting in 10. The Schlatter family has a history at the Oregon university, as James was an assistant coach for the football team in the 1980s, and the 20-year-old’s mother and sister both played volleyball for the school.
With the help of AJ, the Vikings fielded an exceptional team this past season, and even clinched a berth in the FCS playoffs. Our thoughts are with the team, and, especially, AJ’s loved ones, following this tragedy.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked to hear about AJ’s death?