Asaph Schwapp, who starred at Weaver and then played at the University of Notre Dame, died Wednesday. He was 26.
Schwapp, whose nickname was ‘Ace,’ died of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a form a blood cancer.
Schwapp was raised by his aunt and uncle after his mother, Evelyn, died of cancer in 1996, according to the Hartford Courant.
He was a National Honors Society member who starred as a running back and linebacker at Weaver under Rob Fleeting, now at Windsor.
As a senior Schwapp was named the 2004 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year after rushing for 1,313 yards and 13 TDs and making 74 tackles, eight sacks and five interceptions. As a junior, he ran for 1,110 yards.
Though recruited by Ty Willingham, Schwapp wound up playing for Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame. Schwapp played in 39 games for the Irish at fullback from 2005-2008.
Schwapp graduated with a business degree from Notre Dame and signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent in 2009. Though he never made it onto an NFL regular season roster, he eventually became the face of the fledgling and short-lived Hartford Colonials in 2010. The Colonials lasted just one season.
On Wednesday morning, Weiss announced on Twitter Schwapp was ‘gravely ill’ and asked for prayers. Schwapp reportedly died a few hours later:
Sad news! Ace has passed on! A fine young man! May his soul rest peacefully in Heaven. Please pray for Ace and his family. Breaks my heart.
— Coach Charlie Weis (@CoachWeisKansas) May 8, 2013
Jake Golic, a Northwest Catholic grad who plays at Notre Dame, and his father and ND alum Mike Golic also expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Lost a good friend and an even better man today in Asaph Schwapp. Keep his family in mind today #ND
— Jake Golic (@JGolic88) May 8, 2013
ND grad and former ND FB player Asaph Schwapp passed away today at 26 from lymphoma, as sincere a person as I have ever met gone to soon.RIP
— Mike Golic (@espngolic) May 8, 2013