Star Football Recruit Killed in Spring Break Balcony Fall

Cops: 17-year-old was 'drunk and belligerent'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2010 2:16 PM CDT
Updated Apr 3, 2010 5:02 PM CDT
A 2008 file photo of Matt James.   (AP/ Photo/Tony Tribble)
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(Newser) – One of the nation's top high school football prospects is dead after falling off a third-floor hotel balcony while on spring break in Florida. Police say he was "drunk and belligerent" before the accident. Matt James, 17, had been Notre Dame's top recruit and was on USA Today's first team All-American squad as an offensive lineman. Friends set up a Facebook tribute page.

"Witnesses and friends indicate he had become drunk and belligerent," says a police official in Panama City, Florida. "He had leaned over the balcony rail, was shaking his finger at the people in the next room over. He fell over." The Chicago Tribune, AP, and ESPN have more details on James, who attended St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. (Read more Matt James stories.)

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