Lumberjacks' DeGroote dies at 22 while vacationing

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Northern Arizona football player Michael DeGroote died while vacationing with his family in Alaska. He was 22.

A family spokesman confirmed to the university that DeGroote died Tuesday in Alaska, though no other details were given.

"The entire NAU Athletics Family is deeply saddened by the loss of Michael," NAU coach Jerome Souers said in a statement. "He was a well-respected young man that I was proud to have as a part of our program. Our time with Michael was cut short, but he will always be a Lumberjack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

A senior tight end/fullback, DeGroote graduated from Fountain Hills High School in Scottsdale and attended Scottsdale Community College before transferring to NAU in 2013.

DeGroote did not play in 2013 but was the Lumberjacks' backup fullback and played on special teams last season.

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