Justin Skaggs,28, a former Evangel University standout who had been playing football for the Arena Football League's Utah Blaze, died Friday after emergency brain surgery. He leaves behind his wife, a five-year-old son, and a three-year-old daughter.
A feature on Justin Skaggs was included in today's Salt Lake Tribune:
Struggling unsuccessfully to hold back tears, Utah Blaze lineman Steve Konopka admitted Friday night that he will never forget the sight of Tara Skaggs quietly talking to her 5-year-old son, Jake.
"Jake asked, 'Will Daddy ever play football again?' '' Konopka recalled. "She said, 'Yes, Daddy will play football again - in Heaven.' ''
Also from the feature:
"I never heard anybody say anything bad about him, ever," said Danny White, the Blaze's general manager and head coach. "All of his teammates loved him. Everybody rallied around him. I think the greatest tribute to Justin was that every player - even the guys who were brand new on the team and hadn't been around him very much - every one of them showed up at the hospital."
On the field, Skaggs was known for his work ethic and effort.
"He played football the way everybody should play it," White said. "If we had 20 guys who played every week the way Justin Skaggs played, we'd never lose a game."