A 22-year-old member of Elon University’s Phoenix football team was found dead Thursday, just one day before he was to graduate, the Elon News Network reports.
The body of long snapper Nicholas Kavouklis was discovered about 2 p.m. in the 3900 block of Stockard Road in Graham, the site reported.
A cause of death was not released and the case “is still under investigation,” Elon News said.
Maps of the area show the site where he was found is in a rural area, near the Cornerstone Community Church.
Elon University is a private liberal arts university in Alamance County, about 120 miles northeast of Charlotte.
Kavouklis, a native of Tampa, Florida, was the son of former Florida State University football player Chris Kavouklis, according to the Phoenix Football website.
Nicholas Kavouklis played four seasons for the Phoenix and was named to the CAA Football Academic All-Conference Team in 2016, according to the site.
Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book posted on Facebook that the “community is devastated” by Kavouklis’ death. “May we all take strength knowing that Nick’s shining spirit will live on forever through his classmates,” she wrote.
On Friday, Book asked the Class of 2019 to link hands during the graduation ceremony “in honor of classmate Nick Kavouklis.”
“No matter how bad things seem you are never alone,” Book told the seniors, according to a tweet.
Kavouklis was an exercise science major, according to school officials.
Elon’s football team suffered another tragedy in 2015, when wide receiver Demitri Allison, a junior from Cornelius, was found dead outside a 10-story residence hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Charlotte Observer reported.
Investigators said at the time that they believed he had fallen from one of the balconies of the high rise building, the Observer reported.