Hightower alum Robert Grays died after suffering in-game neck injury

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KTRK) -- A Hightower High School graduate who died after suffering a serious neck injury during a college football game over the weekend will be laid to rest this weekend.

Nineteen-year-old Robert Grays, a Midwestern State University cornerback, suffered a serious neck injury Saturday when he made a tackle against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Grays had to be carted off the field and then hospitalized in the Houston area for his critical injury.

The university announced Grays died Tuesday night.

The school announced Grays' funeral is set for Saturday at the Word of Restoration International Church in Rosharon, which is south of Houston. Visitation is open to the public, and the viewing is set for 10 a.m.

The school is also holding a candlelight vigil Thursday night on campus.

ABC13 spoke with Grays' former coach, his youth pastor and family. They said they called him "Little Rob" and his smile is what they'll miss about the 19-year-old.

"Robert passed, but he passed doing something he loved. His mother expressed that last night," said Grays' great aunt Jackie Lane. "He really loved playing football and she was happy that he was doing something that he loved. "

Grays' former football team at Hightower High School paid tribute to their alum Wednesday morning. He graduated from the school in 2016.

The university has established several memorial funds to pay for medical expenses and to assist Grays' family. You can make a donation on the Midwestern State University website.

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