• Quandarius Wilburn, 18, allegedly collapsed and died during conditioning drills at his school 
  • The 6-foot-2 defensive end had died of cardiac arrest, according to his family
  • Wilburn was described as a "completely healthy guy" who never reported any health issues before

An 18-year-old college football player allegedly died of cardiac arrest while training at a Richmond, Virginia school over the weekend.

Quandarius Wilburn, Virginia Union University's (VUU) 6-foot-2 defensive end, collapsed and died Sunday during conditioning drills at the school's on-campus football facility, Hovey Stadium, local newspaper the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. He was rushed by ambulance to VCU Medical Center after his collapse.

The 2021 Jefferson County High School graduate ate breakfast and attended a church service together with his team before eating lunch and starting the conditioning workout, the university said in a letter addressed to the school community.

"The Virginia Union University family is heartbroken about the passing of a freshman student and football player on Sunday, August 8, 2021," the school was quoted as saying.

"Our primary concern is the well-being of the family and fellow students impacted by this tragedy. Virginia Union stands ready to provide support in any way necessary and available as families and students work to process this devastating loss," VUU added.

Sandra Nelson, Wilburn's grandmother, was quoted by People as saying that the autopsy for her grandson is currently pending, but she's aware that the cause of death could be cardiac arrest.

"He went into cardiac arrest," Nelson said. "They did everything they could to save him, and they couldn't save him."

Nelson described her grandson as a "completely healthy guy" who "never did drugs" and "never smoked."

"[Wilburn] loved people. Loved life. He made an impact on everybody he met. Everybody loved him. Old people. Young people. He was a positive person, an encourager," his grandmother said.

J.B. Arnold, who coached Wilburn during the two years he played for the varsity football team at Jefferson County High School, claimed that Wilburn underwent a physical exam for all four years at his high school and never reported any health issues.

A research presented at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine annual meeting in 2019 showed that most nontraumatic deaths among high school and college football players occurred in conditioning sessions, and not during the actual games.

The research reviewed 187 nontraumatic football fatalities from 1998 to 2018 and found that over half, or around 52%, of those deaths were due to cardiac arrest, while 24% of the cases were due to heat and 5% of them were due to asthma.

"Conditioning-related fatalities are preventable by establishing standards in workout design, holding coaches and strength and conditioning coaches accountable, ensuring compliance with current policies, and allowing athletic health care providers complete authority over medical decisions," Dr. Barry P. Boden of The Orthopedic Center, Rockville, Maryland, the study's presenter, said.

Representation. Quandarius Wilburn, 18, allegedly died of cardiac arrest during conditioning training. Pixabay