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Ex-Gopher Nick Connelly dies after battle with cancer

His family said he was fighting a rare, aggressive form of cancer.

The Golden Gophers football team is mourning the death of former offensive lineman Nick Connelly. 

The announcement comes just three days after Connelly's father, Chuck Connelly, made his son's cancer battle public, when he said Nick could use a "miracle touch" as he battles Burkitt's lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Connelly's father released this message on Thursday about the passing of his son, saying "Heaven needed a right tackle." 

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"I just want to make sure everybody knows, from our family to theirs, from our football family, our university, our state, we're rolling with Nick," said Gophers coach P.J. Fleck on Tuesday.

Fleck added that Connelly had a lot of teammates "praying for him and supporting him."

Connelly played for the Gophers as a redshirt sophomore last season before a fifth concussion and third in two years forced him to stop playing football.

He started five games in 2017 before a concussion against Purdue ended his season and playing career.

Connelly was an All-State lineman for Red Wing High School before committing to the University of Minnesota. 

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