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Missing football player found dead, remembered for his passion

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Ohio State Mens Wrestling

OSU redshirt-senior defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge Credit: Courtesy of OSU

Kosta Karageorge was passionate — a great friend and teammate, a hard-worker.

His teammates and coaches described him with all of those words after Karageorge went missing Wednesday.

His body was found Sunday near East Sixth and Courtland avenues at about 2:30 p.m. in a dumpster, and tattoos confirmed his identity. It was unclear how long his body had been there, Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Richard Weiner said in a press conference at the scene Sunday evening. 

Karageorge was a redshirt-senior defensive lineman on the football team and had been missing since Wednesday at about 2 a.m.

He appeared to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was found near the scene. 

Weiner said the body would be taken to the Franklin County morgue for more tests. He also said the investigation into his death was ongoing.

His sister, Sophia Karageorge, told The Columbus Dispatch on Thursday that he was last seen at his apartment on East 7th Avenue before he left to take a walk.

Kosta Karageorge joined the football team in August as a walk-on, and was a member of the OSU wrestling team since 2011.

Shortly before he went missing, Kosta Karageorge had reportedly sent a text message to his mother: “Sorry if I am an embarrassment, but these concussions have my head all (expletive) up.”

His sister told The New York Times he had suffered a concussion in September and had sustained at least four or five over time.

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A student speaks in the Oval, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, at a vigil for redshirt-senior defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge who was found dead earlier that day. Credit: Yann Schreiber / Lantern reporter

OSU’s Department of Athletics issued a statement after Kosta Karageorge was identified, saying the department was “shocked and saddened” to learn of his death.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Karageorge family, and those who knew him, during this most difficult time,” the statement read.

An OSU spokesman sent The Lantern the Department of Athletics’ statement Sunday when asked whether President Michael Drake had a statement about Kosta Karageorge’s death.

Kosta Karageorge will be remembered as an individual who poured passion into all aspects of his life, said Matthew O’Hara, a fourth-year in accounting and Kosta Karageorge’s teammate on the wrestling team.

“I have known him for four years now,” he said. “There is really only one word (that comes to mind). That is passion. Absolute passion in everything he did, whether that was wrestling or football, or his friends and family.”

O’Hara is a member of Athletes in Action, a Christian sports ministry group with a chapter on OSU’s campus. The group hosted a prayer vigil for Kosta Karageorge on the Oval on Sunday night.

“We are just getting together to pray for him and his family,” O’Hara said before the event.

OSU football coach Urban Meyer released a statement Friday afternoon praising the hard work of Karageorge and asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to come forward.

“He is a young man who joined the football team in August and was a hard worker on the field and pleasant off the field. He has been an important player in practice for us, right up until the time he was reported missing,” Meyer said in his statement.

Meyer tweeted from his account, @OSUCoachMeyer, expressing his condolences for Karageorge’s family Sunday evening. 

“He will be missed,” Meyer wrote.

Several of Kosta Karageorge’s teammates expressed their condolences via Twitter Sunday evening.

“Kosta was nothing but a great friend and teammate to me,” said Matt Fee, a member of the OSU wrestling team, in a tweet from his account, @MattFee4. “Please pray for his family and friends. Rest In Peace Kosta.”

Brady Taylor, a freshman offensive lineman, posted a photo to his Twitter account, @beTaylor79, of Kosta Karageorge’s locker with a caption that read “Rest In Peace.”

OSU offers suicide prevention resources. The Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Services can be reached at 614-292-5766. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 or online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

One comment

  1. Condolences to his family and friends. How utterly heartbreaking to lose a child, sibling and good friend, at such a young age. There will probably never be any true closure but I pray that his family eventually will be at peace.

    RIP Kosta.

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