Isaiah Langston, a football player at Rolesville (N.C.) High School, died of a hit to the back of the head, according to the autopsy as reported by WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham.
The medical examiner listed the official cause of death as “complications of vertebral artery dissection due to blunt force injury of the head and neck.”
The 17-year-old died days after collapsing in warmups before a Sept. 26 game. At the time, eyewitnesses told HighSchoolOT that the linebacker apparently gave no signs that he was feeling ill or under the weather in any way prior to his collapse. He was immediately taken to a nearby hospital where he died three days later.
The report said Langston had a “large posterior circulation stroke … which most likely occurred secondary to verbal dissection,” the report said.
After Langston died, his brother told WTVD-TV that the collapse was related to a blood lot in Isaiah’s brain.
Langston is among nine high school football players whose death occurred after a player collapsed at a football game or practice
The nine player deaths is the most player deaths that may be directly related to football in a single season since 11 in 1986, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which annually analyzes football deaths. The number is a stark statistic that underlines the growing concern shown by parents about the safety of youth football at various levels.