Idaho signee Jace Malek dies after bout with bone cancer

Former Idaho signee Jace Malek has passed away after a yearlong battle with bone cancer, according to a tweet from the Vandals’ football program. Malek was just 18 years old.

Rest in peace, Jace Malek. Once a Vandal, always a Vandal! #MalekStrong

— Idaho Football (@VandalFootball) February 28, 2016

A fullback from Spokane, Malek was diagnosed with osteosarcoma 13 months ago, just a week before National Signing Day. In spite of that, Idaho honored Malek’s scholarship and allowed him to serve as a student assistant even as his battle with the disease saw his right leg amputated.

Malek, who also wrestled in high school, also served as a team captain for the 2015 season opener against Ohio and received the game ball following the Vandals’ October victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

His cancer diagnosis came right before wrestling season his senior year, when an MRI revealed a tumor the size of a melon on his hip. On top of that, the cancer was now in his lungs. His leg was amputated in July and though his health worsened, Malek was still able to marry his longtime girlfriend and live his final days positively.

Campus Sports sends its deepest condolences to the Malek family.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports