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Virginia Union University football player dies after collapsing during practice

Freshman Quandarius Wilburn, 19, of Georgia, was participating in the football team's pre-season conditioning when he collapsed, the university said.

A Virginia Union University football player died after he collapsed during practice on Sunday, officials said.

Quandarius Wilburn, 19, of Georgia, was participating in the football team's pre-season conditioning on Hovey Field when he collapsed, university President Hakim J. Lucas wrote in a letter, according to NBC affiliate WWBT of Richmond. Wilburn was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where he later died.

"The Virginia Union University family is heartbroken about the passing of a freshman student and football player," the historically Black institution said in a statement. "Our primary concern is the well-being of the family and fellow students impacted by this tragedy."

"Virginia Union stands ready to provide support in any way necessary and available as families and students work to process this devastating loss," the university said.

According to the letter, the football team ate breakfast, attended church and ate lunch before practice Sunday.

Efforts to reach Wilburn's family on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Wilburn's death occurred nearly two weeks after Joshua Ivory, 15, collapsed on the first day of practice at Southwest High School in Macon, Georgia, and later died. An autopsy did not reveal a cause of death, according to CBS affiliate WMAZ of Macon. Bibb Coroner Leon Jones told the news station that officials will run additional tests to find out what led to Ivory's death.

Football deaths directly related to what happened on the field are rare.

In the past decade, there have been 34 deaths related to on-field action — or an average of three people each season — among middle school and high school football players, according to data collected by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research.

Most football deaths in the past decade were caused by complications from existing conditions, like heart ailments, or problems related to overexertion, like heatstroke.