FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) - A mid-Michigan community is in mourning tonight after the sudden death of a former high school school football player.
20- year old Anthony Herbert died on Tuesday after a medical emergency in his dorm room on the campus of Northern Michigan University.
Anthony Herbert - known as "T Bone" by his friends --was playing for Lapeer East when the high school merged with Lapeer West. He graduated from Lapeer High School in 2015.
His high school coach tells us Herbert played an important role in bringing his teammates together during that time of transition.
"He was offensive player of the week one week for them, he really had it going, he was a young guy that was going places, special," said Lapeer head football coach Mike Smith.
Smith - visibly shaken by the news of the passing of his former player Anthony Herbert - recalls the offensive lineman's strength on the field.
"He was a strong blocker, I know we were in a game one time, over at Carmen, he had to play some nose tackle, we were getting pushed around and he was the stable force to be able to go in and secure our defense," Smith noted.
Number 78 played under Smith's direction during his senior year at Lapeer High School, following what could have been a difficult transition after Lapeer East and West merged into one large High School.
"When we brought our schools together he was the key guy," said Smith. "He made it so we could be a team - he let our team be a big part in putting our school together - he had that effect on people."
The 20-year old, who was in his sophomore year at Northern Michigan University studying construction management, played for the Wildcats as a starting left guard.
School officials say he appeared in good health at team workouts and breakfast Tuesday morning. The cause of death is still under investigation but police do no suspect foul play, drugs or alcohol to be a factor.
Smith, who last saw Herbert on Friday in the Lapeer gym reaching out to other student athletes, said he's proud to have witnessed the young man really grow into his role as a student athlete:
"He'll always be a great example, you know, as a teammate, how to treat people," said Smith. "His time here was very positive."
Smith says right now he's asking the community to pray for Anthony Herbert's family and to care for them and be there to support them during this difficult time.
Update: Anthony’s visitation will be held from 1-4pm and 6-8pm on Friday, January 20 at Muir Brothers Funeral Home in Lapeer.
and his funeral service will be held at 11am on Saturday, January 21, 2016 at the First Baptist Church, at 1212 Knollwood Drive in Lapeer.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lapeer County FFA Alumni (for the Anthony Herbert Memorial Scholarship) 690 N. Lake Pleasant Road, Attica, MI 48412
In a Facebook post Anthony's parents Michael and Lori Herbert shared that following an autopsy, it appears Anthony had an enlarged heart that they never knew about. They are still awaiting toxicology reports, but they believe the enlarged heart is what caused him to become unresponsive Tuesday morning.