Former Florida safety dies of suicide

SEATTLE (AP) The

King County Medical Examiner’s Office says that former Florida safety

John Curtis IV has died due to injuries caused by suicide.

The medical examiner’s office confirmed Friday that Curtis died on

Thursday morning in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue with severe injuries

to his head and torso. He was 24 and a native of Cocoa Beach, Fla.

Curtis arrived at the University of Florida in 2004 but did not play.

His 2005 season was wiped out due to a knee injury suffered in

preseason. He returned in 2006 and played mostly on special teams. He

played 11 games in 2007, with his highlight being a blocked punt

against South Carolina early in the game that set up one of Tim Tebow’s

seven touchdowns.

Curtis tore the same knee ligament in 2008 and missed the entire season.

He finished his career with 11 tackles and two national championship rings.

Curtis moved to Seattle after graduating from Florida to be closer to his family.

Florida coach Urban Meyer was shocked to learn of Curtis’ death.

“It’s tragic when a young life is lost,” Meyer said. “I’m not sure how

you describe the loss of life in words. John was a great young man who

was a proud member of our Gator family. We grieve for him, his friends

and his family and pray for their comfort.”

Received 08/06/10 08:36 pm ET