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Former NFL player Louis Nix found dead at 29 in Florida after being reported missing

Nix’s death was confirmed by his mother after a vehicle matching his car’s description was pulled from a retention pond in Jacksonville near his apartment.
Louis Nix
Houston Texans Defensive Tackle Louis Nix during the Texans Training Camp at Houston Methodist Training Center, Houston, Texas.Ken Murray / Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty
/ Source: NBC News

Former NFL defensive lineman Louis Nix was found dead Saturday at the age of 29, days after being reported missing in Jacksonville, Florida.

Nix’s death was confirmed by his mother after authorities pulled a vehicle matching his car’s description from a retention pond near his apartment, according to NBC affiliate WTLV. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said it was looking for Nix after he was reported missing Wednesday.

The department tweeted late Saturday that Nix had been “located” but did not provide further details. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment on Sunday.

It is not clear if a cause of death has been determined.

Nix was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2014 after a notable collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He was often affectionately known in college as “Irish Chocolate” or “Big Lou," according to a statement from Notre Dame announcing his death on Sunday.

The school described Nix as a four-star prospect who quickly helped "anchor the defensive front" for the team as they fought for championship titles. Nix was an All-American in his junior year, and began his senior year on both the Maxwell and Bednarik Award Watch Lists, Notre Dame said.

A knee injury he suffered during his final year at Notre Dame continued to ail him in the NFL, however.

He needed surgery before making it to the Texans training camp and another before the end of his rookie season, according to NBC Sports. Nix had stints with the Texans, the New York Giants, the Washington Football Team and the Jacksonville Jaguars during his three seasons in the NFL.

Nix was the victim of an armed robbery in December, when two men approached him as he was filling his tires at a gas station. Nix was shot and spent 10 days in the hospital after needing surgery for a bullet that ricocheted off his sternum and into his lung, according to Nix’s Twitter feed.

Friends, former teammates and coaches mourned Nix’s death, memorializing him on social media. Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly posted a tribute video of Nix from his time at the university.

In one clip, Nix tells an interviewer that he just tries to remain true to himself and “be the guy that breaks the ice everywhere I go.”

Romeo Okwara, a defensive end for the Detroit Lions and a former Notre Dame athlete, tweeted that Nix would be “greatly missed.”

“Always wanted to put a smile on everyone’s face,” Okwara said. “Glad I got to share some unforgettable moments with you.”

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