'He's a fighter': Atlanta native remains critical after head injury during game

'He's a fighter': Atlanta native remains critical after head injury during game

ATLANTA — A college football player from Atlanta remains in critical condition after collapsing on the sideline during a game.

A spokesperson for Tennessee State University said Christion Abercrombie, 20, suffered a head injury on a routine play in Saturday's game against Vanderbilt. He then collapsed on the sideline.

He was rushed into emergency surgery at a nearby hospital.

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Channel 2's Michael Seiden spoke with his former head coach on Tuesday, who had just gotten back from Nashville where the 20-year-old remains in intensive care.

"We're wishing the best for him and hoping and praying for a full recovery," Coach Bryan Love told Seiden.

Love said his trip to Nashville to see Abercrombie was an emotional one.

"I got a chance to sit with the family and friends and pray with them for his full recovery, Love said.

"What did you tell him?” Seiden asked Love.

“That I loved him. That I cared about him and he's a fighter and he's going to get through this," Love said.

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Over the weekend, doctors performed emergency surgery on the Tennessee State linebacker who suffered a head injury in Saturday's game.

Love is now the head coach at Henry County's Woodland High School.

But before he took that job, he coached the Atlanta native at Westlake High School.

To this day, people still talk about what Abercrombie accomplished as a linebacker for the Westlake Lions in Atlanta.

"He was one of the people that we counted on every Friday night to make our defensive calls and defensive checks," Love said. "He was on the all-region team and voted one of the best linebackers in our region."

As Abercrombie continues to fight through his injury, Love is asking his community to pray for the young man.

“He was a very good football player. Excellent student. His character … he was a charismatic leader,” Love said.

Tennessee State head football Coach Rod Reed released the following update on Abercrombie's unexpected injury:

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Abercrombie and his family.

Earlier this week, a Pike County High School football player died after leaving the field during Friday night's game.

Dylan Thomas fell during a play and complained he'd lost feeling in his leg. Minutes later, he became unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died on Sunday.