A former standout linebacker for the Florida State Seminoles who spent several seasons in the NFL died just weeks after entering hospice care due to liver disease.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported 33-year-old Geno Hayes died Monday evening while awaiting a transplant, his high school coach confirmed to the paper and other media outlets.
Hayes was a four-star recruit who signed with the Seminoles in 2005 and helped lead FSU to a conference championship and berth in the Orange Bowl. He became a starter in 2006 and held the spot for two seasons, being named first team All-ACC in 2007.
After being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008, Hayes spent seven seasons in the NFL that included stints with both the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars.
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Hayes confirmed earlier this year he was battling the disease, which he believed was caused by use of over-the-counter medication during his playing career and a family history of liver disease.
He had been placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant before entering hospice care.
Hayes leaves behind a wife and two kids.