A former St. Augustine High football player collapsed during a flag football game and was pronounced dead after he was taken to the hospital.
The death of Tarek Odom, 24, sent shock waves through St. Augustine.
Many took to social media to express their condolences.
Not only was Odom known as a force on the gridiron, he also had an interest in civil service and wanted to one day work in local government.
"Some of the programs that we’re doing now, he was part of," said St. Augustine city Manager John Regan. "One of those programs being a great program in West Augustine. We’re helping people connect to the sanitary sewer system. It’s a very specific grant program. “
Regan mentored Odom last Summer at City Hall. The pair worked together every day for several months before Odom left to play professional football in Switzerland.
An injury brought him back to The First Coast.
“When we learned of his death today, this entire building behind me (City Hall), everyone was so saddened. He was going to be a future leader of our community,“ Regan said.
Odom died while playing football with friends at Joe Pomar Park in St. Augustine Tuesday.
According to a police report, Odom collapsed mid-play.
Friends tried to revive him. One of his friends, a registered nurse, administered CPR when he realized that Odom did not seem to have a pulse.
The report lists his death as natural causes.
Regan said football was Odom’s first love but being of service to the community was also his passion. He said Odom was a big guy with the personality to match.
“He had a very bright future. It’s a tremendous loss," Regan said.
Odom was a 2010 graduate of St. Augustine High School. He attended Wofford College in South Carolina before playing professionally in Switzerland and arena football in Nebraska.