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Obi Ezeh, former Michigan football standout LB, dies at 36

Former Michigan football standout linebacker Obi Ezeh has died at age 36, his mother announced on social media over the weekend.

The Grand Rapids native was a star at Grand Rapids Catholic Central, where he was a three-year starter, setting the school's career rushing record (3,189 yards) and leading the team to an 11-2 record and the Division 4 state championship game In 2005 a senior led. He later helped lead the rugby team to the state championship.

“My very own! My Obi. My No. 2. My heart. My father's heart. My silent giant!”, posted his mother Nkechy on Facebook. “Grandson of an elephant. Have a safe journey to your Creator, oo. Mother Mary, please hold his hands for me. Saint Peter opens the gate for him while the heavenly choirs lead him to Jesus.

“My Obinna Ezeh, you will always be in my heart, my beloved son..💙”

Ezeh spent five years in Ann Arbor (2006-10), playing under coaches Lloyd Carr and Rich Rodriguez and becoming a mainstay in the midfield. Ezeh, 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, played in 50 games over the course of his college career and was a freshman All-America in 2006 and All Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2008 after redshirting.

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He finished his career with 293 tackles, including 19½ for loss, three sacks, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and eight pass breakups, and played nine games with 10 tackles or more.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Wolverine linebacker Obi Ezeh,” the Michigan football broadcast said wrote on X on Sunday morning. “Our prayers go out to his family, friends and former teammates. Rest in peace.”

It was a tragic week for the Michigan athletics family, which also lost former Michigan basketball point guard Darius Morris, who died Thursday at age 33.

[ MUST LISTEN: Make “Hail Yes!” your go-to Michigan Wolverines podcast, available anywhere you listen to podcasts (Apple, Spotify) ]

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