Dimitrious Stanley, a former Ohio State wide receiver who was the team's leading pass catcher as a senior in 1996, has died. He was 48.
He died after a battle with prostate cancer. Stanley was diagnosed with cancer in 2019. Mike Picetti, the football coach at Thomas Worthington High School, died on Thursday, according to a report by The Columbus Dispatch.
“It is with great sadness that I report that Cardinal Great Dimitrious Stanley has gone home to be with our Lord,” he wrote in a message on Twitter. “Please pray for Jessica and his little girl Dakota. Rest in Peace my friend.”
Dee Miller, the player's Ohio State teammate and friend, said that Stanley's death was "heartbreaking news for everybody. Teammates. Buckeye Nation. He fought very, very hard.
"It was remarkable to see how he handled things after being diagnosed, the way he fought, and the way he still tried to live his life and be around for his family. Selfishly, we're all going to miss him physically, but we didn't want him to continue to suffer the way he was."
Miller, who is a year Stanley's junior, described him as a mentor.
"He had the best smile," he said. "He would always be making the room light, cracking jokes in the wide receiver room. Even in his hospital bed, we would joke like it was the locker room, all the way up until a few days before he passed. He was very, very funny and had a big heart."
Stanley grew up in Worthington and graduated from Thomas Worthington High School before attending Ohio State.
He caught 63 passes for 1,136 yards and 13 touchdowns during his time with the Buckeyes. In 1996, he set a team record with 43 receptions for 829 yards and eight touchdowns.
In his final game, Stanley caught a 72-yard touchdown pass from Joe Germaine late in the third quarter to help Ohio State win its first Rose Bowl in 23 years, 20-17 over Arizona State. He also caught two third-down passes on Ohio State's game-winning drive in the final seconds.
"We needed that win," Miller said, "and coach (John) Cooper needed that win. Back then, the Rose Bowl was the thing to get to and win. He had a big part in that. Being raised in Worthington and having such a big impact in that game, it was remarkable to see."
Germaine expressed his condolences on the death of Stanley.
"So sad," he texted to The Dispatch. "I love Dimitrious. He was an amazing teammate and player and will go down in Ohio State history as making some of the biggest plays in the biggest games.
"He was always so kind to me and always made me feel welcome. A great man and a great person."