A Northeast High School football player, from Florida, has been taken off life support after collapsing during Friday night’s game, Sept. 20, according to the teen’s mother.

After a group tackle, 17-year-old Jacquez Welch went down and never stood back up. He was rushed to Bayfront Hospital where doctors discovered a pre-existing brain condition that no one knew about.

According to his mother, Welch was born with arteriovenous malformation, also known as AVM, that led to his passing out. It’s an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain.

Welch’s mother, Marcia Nelson, held a press conference Monday, Sept. 23, to announce the decision to take him off life support and his collapse had nothing to do with the sport.

“To dispel misunderstandings, this was not due to a tackle, hit, or injury,” Nelson said.

She said the family is working on making Welch an organ donor to seven people. An honor walk will be taking place Monday night at 10 p.m. at Bayfront Hospital.

Welch was a 4.0 student and just received a full ride scholarship to Concordia University.

His mother said football was his passion. The 17-year-old was also an older brother who served as a role model for his siblings.

“I was so proud of him. He was just worried about getting to college,” said his father Tory Larkins.

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