Former Notre Dame football player Kona Schwenke dies
The tributes came flooding in for former Notre Dame football player Kona Schwenke on Sunday night.
The details of his passing at age 25 were scant, though Honolulu television station KHON-TV and multiple sources close to the family confirmed his passing.
“We will tell the stories of how things were different with you,” former ND wide receiver and fellow Hawaii product Robby Toma posted in his Instagram account, Sunday. “I love you my brother. Thank you for everything over the years.
“I am grateful for the time we got to spend with you on earth. My heart hurts, but I know the memories we have will last a lifetime. Look over us, my USO. My prayers are with my Schwenke Family. #RIPuso”
Schwenke, from Laie, Hawaii, in 2010 graduated from perennial state power Kahuku High, which is also the alma mater of current Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman.
A member of coach Brian Kelly’s first ND recruiting class, the defensive lineman played in 31 games during his Irish football career, making nine starts. Two of those starts came during Notre Dame’s 2012 run to the BCS National Championship Game matchup with Alabama.
Seven of them came during his senior season in which he racked up a career-high 23 tackles.
"Kona was an extremely caring young man who always thought of his family, friends and teammates before himself," Kelly tweeted on Monday afternoon. "He had such a welcoming personality to everyone. My heart truly aches for his family."
“You were my brother, roommate, and one of the best human beings I’ve ever met,” former Irish nose guard Louis Nix III tweeted on his Twitter account.
“Words can’t describe when you lose a teammate,” former ND defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore posted on Instagram. “Shocked, sad, confused. Everything.”
“I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for this dude Kona, who was my host at Notre Dame for my recruiting visit,” former Irish All-America defensive end Stephon Tuitt posted on Instagram. “He will forever be that cherishable memory for me.”
Schwenke went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft and spent time on the practice squads of Kansas City, New England and the New York Jets. He also spent a season on the Seattle Seahawks’ injured reserve list.
@kschwenke96 was like a big brother to me. He had a great soul and wanted nothing but to be your friend. Rest in Love brother
— Ronnie Stanley (@IamtheGuru79) April 22, 2018
I never take a day for granted with the people I care about. Life is too short and things happen too often. Enjoy the time you can share with your friends family and loved ones. The good ones are always gone too soon. #RIPucepic.twitter.com/f58DXAU1rE
— Bennett Jackson Jr. (@B_Jax2) April 22, 2018
Man words can’t describe when you lose a teammate. Shocked sad confused. Everything. Putting… https://t.co/3qw1OrKyqi
— Kapron Lewis-Moore (@KLM_89) April 22, 2018
Rest in Peace, Uce. pic.twitter.com/kLXJNoTwi5
— Tyler Plantz (@Tyler_Plantz) April 23, 2018
Love you bro pic.twitter.com/E05BIz3k0s
— Justin Utupo (@JustinUtupo) April 23, 2018
God has a plan. We will tell the stories of how things were different with you. I love you my brother. Thank you for everything over the years. I am grateful for the time we got to spend with you on earth. My heart hurts but I know the memories we have will last a lifetime. _\,,/ look over us my USO. My prayers are with my Schwenke Family #RIPuso
A post shared by Robby Toma (@r.toma9) on Apr 22, 2018 at 2:12pm PDT