College football player dies of complications from tonsil surgery

An Oregon college was in mourning Monday after one of its star football players died suddenly due to complications from tonsil surgery.

Portland State University announced that freshman linebacker AJ Schlatter had died at his home Sunday evening, two days after undergoing the surgery.

Schlatter’s father Jim, a former assisstant football coach at the school, said in a Facebook post that he believed AJ “might have developed have developed a blood clot after his surgery.”

“I failed my son tonight,” Jim Schlatter’s post read in part. “I could not recessatate [sic] him nor did the best efforts by ems [sic] and the emergency room staff.”

Portland State Head Football Coach Bruce Barnum says PSU lost “a diamond that will never be replaced. [Schlatter] was the definition of what we are about at PSU.””

Schlatter, who had just completed his redshirt freshman season, was originally a walk-on football player at Portland State but later earned a full scholarship. He made 62 tackles in 2015, good for fourth-most on the team. Portland State finished the season with a record of 9-3 and earned a berth of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. 

Schlatter’s family has deep ties to Portland State. In addition to his father’s tenure as an assistant coach in the 1980s, his mother and sister played volleyball at the school and his mother was an assistant coach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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