Robbie Roper, a high school quarterback in Georgia who was considering his college options following a successful senior season, has died following complications from a routine surgery. He was 18.
Roper's family announced his death on Twitter on Wednesday, prompting an immediate outpouring of expressions of sympathy, including from his hometown Atlanta Falcons.
“Football is family," the Falcons said in a statement. "And we are saddened by the passing of one of our local high school football family members. May he rest in peace as we keep his family, friends and all those mourning his loss in our prayers.”
Roper led Roswell High School 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.
In announcing his death, Roper's family said "He was our biggest joy to our family. We are proud of the young man he has become. He will be missed by his friends and family dearly.”
Roswell coach Chris Prewett told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Roper was hospitalized Sunday for a surgery that was considered routine.
"Robbie did everything in life with a contagious, positive and energetic attitude that will be missed by all who knew him,” Prewett told the newspaper. “Robbie fought hard and battled until the very end like he did everything else.”