Former Notre Dame, NFL Standout Found Dead at Age Twenty-Nine

By: Max O'Neill
Posted: March 5, 2021

Former NFL and Notre Dame Defensive Lineman Louis Nix III has been found dead at age twenty-nine. The news comes three days after he was first reported missing.

Louis Nix’s body was found in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, Feb 27, along with his car, submerged in a lake. At the moment of writing, no cause of death has been announced. He was originally reported missing on Wednesday, Feb 24 by his mother, Stephanie Wingfield. The Jacksonville Sherriff’s Department says that he was last seen on the 24th, at 10 A.M. ET leaving his father’s house.  It is unclear whether or not his death is related to a December 8 shooting, in which he was injured and robbed while at a Jacksonville gas station, filling up his tires.

The standout Fighting Irish nose tackle was drafted with the 83rd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.  Louis Nix played sparingly in the NFL from 2014-2017, playing for the Texans and Giants, before stints on the practice squad with Washington and Jacksonville.

The tributes quickly poured in from former Notre Dame teammates including Dallas Cowboys star linebacker Jaylon Smith who posted pictures of the two of them on Instagram with the caption: “I remember committing to Notre Dame. I joked around telling you how you was gone have to come up off that 9 when I arrived on campus. Lol I told you how much 9 meant to me, the symbolic meaning of the number and how I’ve worn it my whole life growing up. Not really knowing that when I arrived on campus you would switch your jersey number so I could carry it on. Always been a selfless and loving brother with a great spirit. Love you mane, rest easy big bro.”  

Another tribute came from former Irish running back Jonas Gray, who tweeted: “Heartbreaking. Big Lou was one of the rarest human beings. Such a great dude that always had a good spirit and gave the whole team nothing but laughs. We will all miss you Lou. Prayers to his family. To all my ND brothers if you ever need anything even just to talk. I’m here.”  

The charismatic defensive lineman known as Irish Chocolate at Notre Dame piled up 122 tackles, 14.0 for loss, 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble in his three years in South Bend. Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly tweeted out the missing persons poster and followed that up after the news of his passing was released with a video tribute and the caption: “Louis Nix, Irish Chocolate, we carry these memories until we see you again.”

Image Courtesy of Notre Dame Football Twitter

For more from Max O’Neill, check out his other articles here.

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