HOUSTON – Students at Hightower High School gathered Wednesday night for a vigil to memorialize a former student and football player who died after he was injured on the field.

Robert Grays, 19, was a sophomore cornerback at Midwest State University when his neck was critically injured during an away game Saturday night against Texas A&M Kingsville.

“Robert stepped in to make the tackle and hit the guy in the hip,” said MSU assistant athletics director Trey Reed. “It was something he had done a thousand times before.”

Grays dropped to the ground and a doctor rushed onto the field.

“It was really quiet in the stadium, there was a hush,” Reed said. “Immediately both sides were silent in prayer on the field. There wasn’t anybody off a knee.”

Grays was taken from the stadium by ambulance and was eventually taken to a Houston hospital where he died Tuesday evening.

The cornerback is remembered by coaches for his fiery athletic abilities despite his small size. Grays was 5’7" and 160 lbs but coaches say he packed a fiery punch.

Photos: Fort Bend grad dies from neck injury after college football game


Grays was a two-year starter at cornerback at Hightower High School in Missouri City before heading to Midwestern State.

Family and friends have been sharing their memories of him all through the week with #24strong on social media.