Warren Hills Regional High School varsity quarterback Evan Murray died after taking a hit during a home game on Friday night. He was 17.
The Washington, New Jersey, senior died in the hospital after telling teammates he was "woozy" but fine, giving a thumbs-up as he was carried away in a stretcher, the New York Daily News reports. He was hit by an opposing Summit High School player late in the second quarter, but friends told NJ.com that he got up on his own power.
He then collapsed on the sideline.
"Our coach was telling us he was going to be all right," cheerleader Kaitlin Bell, 16, told the Daily News. "We didn't expect anything would happen."
Friends took to social media to eulogize Murray after hearing the grim news that he may have suffered a heart attack.
An autopsy to determine Murray's cause of death was scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
"We're all very deeply saddened by the passing of Evan Murray," Gary Bowen, interim superintendent of schools, told NJ.com.
Murray's team reportedly went on to win the game. His teammates then left the stadium to meet his family in the hospital.
The student was part of the National Honor Society and a three-sport athlete, playing on the varsity basketball and baseball teams, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help his family. Donations had already reached more than $13,000 on Saturday afternoon.
The news of Murray's death spread through the state quickly. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) extended his "thoughts and prayers" over Twitter on Saturday afternoon.