Skip to content

Irish recruit James dies in spring break accident

Apr 2, 2010, 11:12 PM EDT

Tragic news to report this evening, as Irish recruit Matt James died after a fall from a hotel balcony while on spring break in Panama City, Florida. The senior in high school from St. Xavier in Cincinnati was one of the prized recruits of Brian Kelly’s first recruiting class.

There aren’t many details right now, but WKRC-TV in Cincinnati and the South Bend Tribune are both reporting that the 6-6, 300-pound offensive tackle passed away after falling from a third-floor balcony on spring break. Various reports are saying the accident occurred around 6:30 Friday evening. James was a week shy of his 18th birthday.

James’ decision to sign with the Irish was a huge victory for Kelly and Notre Dame, especially with Seantrel Henderson deciding to sign with USC. James was slated to play at Notre Dame with his fellow St. Xavier teammate, quarterback Luke Massa. Various recruiting websites projected James to immediately compete for playing time.

There’s not much to say right now, other than this is a terrible tragedy.

Follow this link for more information as this story develops.

  1. zach - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    My prayers are with his faamily… so very sad.

  2. ugetwutuask4 - Apr 3, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    My regaurds and prayer’s go out to the James family and may GOD rest Matt’s soul.

  3. finfan - Apr 3, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    CBR you are a tasteless piece of _h_t!!!!!!!!!!

  4. sharkey - Apr 3, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    For all the many years I have lived in Panama City, I will never understand the attraction of college kids and hotel balconies during spring break. I cant remember a year when there have not been more than one tragedy of kids diving into pools, jumping balcony to balcony etc. and loosing their lives. Though it is still unclear what happened to Mr. James, my condolences go out to his family. His death is the second balcony accident this spring break.
    For local Panama City news go to

  5. sharkey - Apr 3, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Sorry, KA. I gave ABC web address. oops!, NBC, has a better article (of course) indicating Matt James fell over the railing instead of railing giving way.
    RIP, Mr. James. The whole Panama City community is saddened by your loss!!

  6. irishfan1123 - Apr 3, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Absolutely horrible, every time I think about this I get sick to my stomach. He had such a great future ahead of him, I wish his family well.

  7. Sgt. Moon - Apr 3, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Keith, you are right. There is not much to say, other than this is a terrible tragedy.
    May he Rest in Peace.

  8. Sgt. Moon - Apr 3, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Keith, you are right. There is not much to say, other than this is a terrible tragedy.
    May he Rest in Peace.

  9. kejji - Apr 3, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    It doesn’t get any worse than this…my heartfelt condolences to this young mans family firstly, and the Notre Dame community secondly.
    As a USC Trojan fan, I may view things differently on the football field than most here, but when something like this happens…well our differences mean nothing…football means nothing.
    When something like this happens, it is time to put away petty differences and it is time for all to share in the grief and support the is time to look at our own mortality and try to lead the best life possible for the sake of our families.
    If we can do this we will honor the memory of Mr. Matt James.

  10. mikeford - Apr 3, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    My thoughts and prayers for his family.

  11. Art Vandelay - Apr 4, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    What a tragic loss and senseless loss….my heart goes out to the James family and my prayers are with them as they endure every parents’ worst nightmare. Two days ago they had to be sitting on top of the world thinking that Matt was poised to do great things with his life and then the unthinkable happens in the blink of an eye. Just goes to show that we are all hanging on by a very thin and precarious thread. Who among us hasn’t done something foolish in our youth, usually fueled by alcohol, which could have cost us our lives? The only difference is that we lucked out and lived to tell about it (usually as a humorous anecdote about our own coming of age). Too bad there is not an easy way to impart the wisdom of our years to today’s youth. We really need to accomplish a societal shift in how underage drinking is viewed. Really just a damn shame…I hope the family can find some peace in the midst of all this. If you have your own child, make sure to tell him the Matt James story and then give him/her a hug.

  12. sharkey - Apr 4, 2010 at 9:13 PM is the local news paper in Panama City. The story was front page head line today. Should be available on web site tomorrow. Gives full details of what happened.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!