Former Irish fullback Schwapp dies at age 26 of cancer

Former Notre Dame fullback Asaph Schwapp has passed away.

He was just 26 years old.

Schwapp lost his battle with cancer Wednesday afternoon. He was diagonosed with lymphoma more than a year ago.

He's remembered fondly by his former teammates.

"Ace was a great teammate and an even better person," Browns center and former Irish center Braxston Cave told NewsCenter 16. "He took me under his wing from day one whether it was in the weight room, at practice, or just hanging out and he showed me the ropes."

"He pushed me everyday to be the best I possibly could and showed me what it meant to be a true Notre Dame man. He will be greatly missed but I know he's in heaven and has already found a bench press and a set of dumb bells up there! My condolences are with his family and I know if they are as strong as he was they will get through this tough time."

Schwapp had a way of making the younger players feel right at home. Ace was a seasoned veteran when former Irish quarterback Dayne Crist arrived in the Notre Dame locker room.

"I'm just absolutely devastated," Crist said in a phone conversation with NewsCenter 16 on Wednesday. "I can't think of a better man than Ace."

Dayne remember Asaph coming up to him and giving him a hug to welcome him to the team.

"Every single day I saw Ace--whether he was my teammate at the time or removed from the program, every single time I saw him, he gave me a big hug," Crist says. "His energy was just contagious--the biggest personality of anybody I could ever come across. Just so caring and just an awesome, awesome man."

Schwapp was one of the first players Charlie Weis recruited to Notre Dame. He played for the Irish from 2005-2009.

"Ace has passed on," Weis, now the head coach at Kansas, announced on twitter just after 3pm. "A fine young man! May his soul rest peacefully in Heaven. Please pray for Ace and his family. Breaks my heart."

Others former Notre Dame players honored Schwapp on twitter included:

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph: "Heaven just received one of the biggest "Teddy Bears" of all time. As big as Ace was, his heart was that much bigger. #RIP big brother."

Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate: "RIP Ace Schwapp.Your presence will be missed by the #NDfamily . It's always tough to lose a brother. We are praying hard! Nothing's promised."

Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd: "Forever in OUR heart Asaph Schwapp."

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