Jeremy Huber, a freshman lacrosse player, was found dead in his Johns Hopkins University dorm room on Monday. (Baltimore Sun)
Just getting accepted to Johns Hopkins University was an accomplishment for Jeremy Huber. Getting recruited to play lacrosse for a program that has won nine national championships was another thing entirely.
"He was literally living out his dream by being there," said Gary Campo, Huber's coach at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas and for the Vegas Starz travel team.
Huber, a freshman defenseman on the Blue Jays' men's lacrosse team, was found dead in his university dormitory Monday morning, Baltimore police and university officials said. He was 18.
Homicide detectives do not suspect foul play but are conducting a death investigation, police spokesman Det. Ruganzu Howard said.
Huber's body was found in his bedroom in Wolman Hall in the 3300 block of N. Charles St. in the Johns Hopkins Homewood neighborhood, university and police officials said. An autopsy is pending.
"Those who knew him say he was a bright, considerate, wonderful young man who was excited to be at the university," Vice Provost for Student Affairs Kevin G. Shollenberger and Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students Terry Martinez said in a statement to students. "In his relatively brief time here, Jeremy had earned admiration and respect from teammates, coaches and everyone who is a part of the lacrosse program."
Huber was the salutatorian at West Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas. He played lacrosse at nearby Palo Verde because West Career and Technical is a magnet school without an athletics program.
At Hopkins, Huber was enrolled in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and was interested in cognitive science, school officials said.
"We are stunned and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Jeremy Huber," Hopkins men's lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala said in a statement. "Jeremy was a wonderful young man who was extremely well liked by his teammates and the members of our lacrosse family. He was a considerate, bright young man that loved being a part of our lacrosse program. He was an outstanding representative of Johns Hopkins University and words cannot adequately express the loss we are feeling right now."
The Blue Jays are in the midst of preparing for their season, which begins Feb. 7 with a home game against UMBC.
Campo, his high school coach, described Huber as a well-round teenager and a leader on and off the field..
"Jeremy was just a good kid," Campo said. "He was a leader in everything. He was a great student, in the leadership club, he was just that type of person. He had a magnetic personality. I saw it when he was younger, and I had the privilege of coaching him for four years. You have no idea what it's like here today. Kids on other teams, coaches, parents are calling us. He did have that effect on people. He was a really, really good kid."
Campo said Huber was also a source of calm on the field.
"There would be a practice, and I would say, 'Jeremy, we've got to get this done,'" Campo said. "He would go out and as a captain, he could get the vibe of the team. He was a captain as a sophomore. So there were those moments when I would say, 'We've got to be better today,' and he would, say, 'OK.'"
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Huber was a four-time all-state lacrosse defenseman in high school. He had considered attending Yale, Dartmouth, Boston University and Rutgers before committing to Johns Hopkins in 2012.
Huber told The Desert Companion in a March 2014 article that he accepted a partial-tuition lacrosse scholarship to Hopkins because "every kid who plays lacrosse dreams of playing for a Division I team like Johns Hopkins."
Campo recalls Huber making his college decision. "He called me and was so excited," Campo said. "He was like, 'I think I'm going to commit, I'm going to do this.' It was awesome."
Huber is survived by his parents, Robert and Nancy Huber, and his younger brother Justin, who is a junior in high school and also plays lacrosse. Campo said the family was en route to Baltimore on Monday.
Campo said he learned of Huber's passing when he got a call at 6:30 a.m. from Chris Eissler, father of Johns Hopkins sophomore midfielder Kieran Eissler, who hails from Henderson, Nev.
Campo said he has heard from a former teammate of Huber's on the West Coast Starz lacrosse team, players and coaches from opposing high schools, and parents in the lacrosse community as word spread of Huber's death.
"It's amazing how many people he touched," Campo said. "Everyone's just in shock. It's a really, really tight-knit community. … The outpouring of support and prayers is amazing. For such a small community, I think everyone has reached out in one way or another."