Notre Dame Football: Former Irish Fullback Schwapp Dies

Matt SmithCorrespondent IIIMay 8, 2013

IRVING, TX - 2009:  Asaph Schwapp of the Dallas Cowboys poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Irving, Texas. (Photo by NFL Photos)
NFL Photos/Getty Images

Former Notre Dame fullback Asaph Schwapp, a member of the Fighting Irish football program from 2005-2008, died Wednesday after a long battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Hartford, Conn., native was 26 years old.

Notre Dame issued a brief statement via Twitter announcing Schwapp's passing.

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Asaph "Ace" Schwapp, 26, former ND fullback, after his battle with cancer #NDFBFamily

Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) May 8, 2013

Schwapp was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer that attacks the body's lymph nodes, in March 2012.

Known by his teammates as "Ace," Schwapp played in 39 games over four seasons, rushing for 98 yards and catching eight passes for 62 yards. His most productive game came as a freshman in a 42-21 win over Navy in 2005, in which he had three carries for 13 yards and two receptions for 21 yards.

Notre Dame's recently departed fifth-year seniors, including defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore, were freshmen when Schwapp was a senior. Lewis-Moore remembered his former teammate on Twitter.

#RIP ACE #ndfamily you will always be remembered! instagram.com/p/ZEbSMfMv0a/

— Kapron Lewis-Moore (@KLM_89) May 8, 2013

Schwapp was used most often as a blocker, spending the 2005 and 2006 seasons paving the way for Darius Walker, one of the most successful running backs in recent years for the Fighting Irish. Walker offered condolences via Twitter.

RIP ACE. You're the best full back a RB could ever ask for!! #goirish #weareND twitter.com/D_Walk/status/…

— Darius Walker (@D_Walk) May 8, 2013

Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph, an Irish player from 2008-2010, remembered Schwapp for his big heart.

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..

— Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph82) May 8, 2013

Schwapp was a member of Charlie Weis' first recruiting class, signing with Notre Dame out of Weaver High in Hartford in 2005. He remained committed to Notre Dame throughout the coaching transition from Tyrone Willingham to Weis following the 2004 season.

After going through training camp with the Dallas Cowboys in 2009, Schwapp was cut prior to the start of the season. He concluded his football career with the UFL's Hartford Colonials.