The heartbroken mother of Louis Nix III paid tribute to the former Notre Dame star and Giants defensive lineman who was found dead Saturday at the age of 29.
Stephanie Wingfield remembered the Jacksonville, Fla. native as incredibly kind, and always willing to help a friend.
”If his head wasn’t attached to his body, he would give it to you,” she told Action News in Jacksonville on Sunday. ”People wanted autographs. He wasn’t ever too busy, always gave an autograph. Always took time to talk to people.”
Nix was reported missing on Wednesday, and his car was found three days later in a pond in Jacksonville.
”Before they could get anything out, ‘I’m sorry,’ I just started screaming, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no!’” Wingfield recalled of police informing her of the news.
A police investigation is underway, Wingfield said.
”God took him after he got him,” Wingfield said. “I don’t understand it, but at least he left here with God in his life.”
It is not yet known whether Nix’s death was connected to an incident in December, when he was hospitalized for 10 days after being shot while filling his car’s tires at a gas station near the Jacksonville airport.
Nix played in four games for the Giants in 2015. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and also spent time with Washington and the Jaguars, following a standout career with Notre Dame.
“There was a vibrant man who walked through these hallways…We’ve lost somebody way to early,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly told reporters on Monday. “We are devastated by it.”