The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that former Tri-Cities Fever quarterback Andy Collins died Monday night in Florida.
He was 27.
According to the Times, Collins died at Imperial Point Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office.
The cause is pending an investigation, although Collins reportedly had been working out on a treadmill just before his death.
Ten days earlier, he had married Brooke Olzendam, a college football reporter for CBS.
"Obviously, it's something as a coach you don't ever want to deal with," Fever coach Adam Shackleford said. "Andy was very professional with us. He was a very likeable guy. A very hard worker. He was a guy no one ever had a bad word to say about him."
Collins went to Zillah High School and played three years at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He had a career record of 27-0 in the regular season for the Tigers.
Collins had spent time in the Arena Football League when he signed with the Fever before the 2010 season.
"This is tragic," Fever owner Teri Carr said. "You think about these young men and they could be your kids."
Carr said she remembered when Collins came into the team's front office for an interview with Shackleford.
"I felt very lucky to get Andy Collins in our situation," Shackleford said. "For him to commit to come home and play for Fever, in front of his family and friends, was great."
Carr saw value in Collins as a local product, but also appreciated that he was a role model.
"He was just a nice young man," Carr said. "After we signed him, and we knew he was a local kid, we started using him in our advertising packages and commercials. He would do everything we asked.
"He was just a nice kid. There is no other way to put it. Very polite."
Collins started the 2010 season at quarterback for the Fever.
But a shoulder injury at the midway point of the season sidelined him for the rest of the year.
In seven games for the Fever, Collins had a 101.4 QB rating, was 84-for-141 passing for 940 yards, 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Houston Lillard, was Collins' backup in 2010 before becoming the starter this season.
"Andy actually helped me lot as far as the transition to the indoor game," Lillard said. "He answered a lot of questions. He helped me get on the field when the opportunity came."
Despite a close competition for the quarterback job, Shackleford saw the two work well together in what is often a difficult situation.
"Andy was good for Houston,"Shackleford said. "There was a guy who had done everything before and helped a young quarterback."
Sometimes starting quarterbacks don't like to give all the information they can to their backups to sort of protect their position.
Not Collins, said Lillard.
"I know how difficult that situation can be," Lillard said. "Of all the quarterbacks I worked with, I had the best relationship with him. He's the reason I worked so well with (backup) Antwon Young."
"He was a good dude all around."
Survivors include his parents Mike and Betty Collins of Zillah, brothers Nick Collins of Ellensburg and Steven Collins of Fort Mill, S.C., sister Suzanne Collins of Kennewick, and grandparents MaryJo and David Collins of Kent.
Funeral services are pending.
Valley Hills Funeral Home in Zillah is handling the arrangements.