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Justin Skaggs

Skaggs with the Utah Blaze.
Date of birth: April 22, 1979(1979-04-22)
Place of birth: Wentzville, Missouri, U.S.
Date of death: June 15, 2007 (aged 28)
Place of death: Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Career information
Position(s): Wide receiver
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 202 lb (92 kg)
Jersey №: 3, 80
College: Evangel
 As player:
Washington Redskins
Amsterdam Admirals (NFLE)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Orlando Predators (AFL)
Utah Blaze (AFL)
Career highlights and awards
Retired #s: 3 (Utah Blaze)
Playing stats at

Justin Skaggs (April 22, 1979 – June 15, 2007) was an American football player. He died at the age of 28 from Stage III Oligodendroglioma, an inoperable brain cancer. He played college football at Evangel University. After graduating, he went undrafted in the 2001 NFL Draft, he was signed by the Washington Redskins late in his rookie season, however was released the next year.

In his career, Skaggs played for the Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He also played for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe, the Orlando Predators, and Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League (AFL).


Professional career


National Football League

Skaggs went undrafted in the 2001 NFL Draft, and was later signed by the Washington Redskins late in the 2001 season. He was released in 2002 after playing in only one NFL game[1], though in 2002 he also played for the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe. In 2003, he was invited to San Francisco 49ers training camp[2], but was cut from the team.[3] In 2004, he went to training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was again cut.

Arena Football League

After not being able to stay with a team in the NFL, Skaggs turned to the Arena Football League, where he was signed by the Orlando Predators for the 2005 season. He had 33 receptions for 370 yards with three touchdowns in his first year.

His best season came in 2006, when he moved to the expansion Utah Blaze, becoming one of its inaugural players. For that year, he had 52 receptions for 665 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named the team's Iron Man of the Year, he also had 34 tackles, (eight solo), and three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.


Skaggs did well in 2007, with four receiving and four rushing touchdowns, as well as 22 tackles. However, he began suffering from headaches. Thinking it was a problem with his neck, Skaggs visited a doctor in late May. MRIs and CAT scans located several tumors in the left lobe of his brain, and doctors diagnosed him with stage III Oligodendroglioma, an inoperable brain cancer, on June 1. In spite of the diagnosis, he showed up for a game three days later against the Colorado Crush. Although he did not play, he inspired his team to an important 51-14 win that kept their playoff hopes alive.[4]


He started suffering extremely severe headaches in the early morning on June 14, and was admitted to University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, where doctors discovered an increase in intracranial pressure. He underwent emergency surgery, but emerged unresponsive and on a ventilator. Family was gathered, and he was taken off life support on June 15, dying shortly afterward. His funeral, held at EnergySolutions Arena on June 18, was attended by over 300, including AFL Commissioner C. David Baker and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

On March 29, 2008, the number 3 was retired by the Blaze in Skaggs' honor.

Skaggs was survived by his wife, Tara, and two children: Jake (born 2002) and Abbie (born 2004).

See also



External links


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