James Dungy wasn't afraid to pray in public, or to carry his Bible to meetings of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or to ask a mother's permission to date her daughter.
He bagged groceries at Publix to earn money, even though his dad was a coach in the National Football League. And even though the boy paced the sidelines in Indianapolis and Tampa in Tony Dungy's shadow, he didn't brag about it in high school hallways.
"He was a nice kid, very nice boy, very friendly," said Zenon Andrusyshyn, the West Coast Florida area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"The boy went to church on Wednesdays, twice on Sundays," said Valerie Gonzalez, the mother of Dungy's former girlfriend. "He was a very nice young man."
"I've been in this game 37 years in public education, and he was one of the most personable young men I've met," said C.E. Quandt, principal at the Indianapolis high school Dungy attended.
Dungy, 18, was found dead in his apartment Thursday. Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee confirmed that it appeared to be a suicide.
Andrusyshyn said he bumped into Dungy about a year ago when the teen was bagging groceries at an area Publix. Dungy asked Andrusyshyn to pray with him for his grandfather's health. The two bowed and prayed inside the Publix. It left an impression on Andrusyshyn.
"I thought that was remarkable for a young kid to ask if we could pray right there in the store," he said. "You realize this man was a sensitive man. He loved his family and his relatives. I just don't know what could have happened."
Jamie Marie Gonzalez, 17, a senior at Armwood High School who used to date Dungy, said he may have changed during the past year in Indianapolis, but when they talked by phone recently he seemed to be the same friendly young man she remembered.
She said Dungy had tracked her down through a free Internet community called Myspace.com. The only thing that seemed out of character was a rough profile Dungy created for himself recently at Myspace.com, containing racy images and profanity.
Dungy, whose father is also a spokesman for a family-betterment organization called All Pro Dads, attended Gaither High School his junior year and played football. He returned two weeks ago to visit Gaither head coach Mark Kantor. Kantor said he and Dungy talked about his dad, how he was glad to be back in Tampa. Kantor said he seemed happy and never let on there were troubles.
"He met me in my office, and he didn't give me a handshake - he gave me a hug. He was a great kid," Kantor said. Dungy went to Indianapolis' North Central High School in 2004 to finish his senior year. That endeavor meant Dungy often kept to himself at school, Principal Quandt said. Although he played high school football in Tampa, Dungy wasn't involved in extracurricular activities at North Central.
CSN: The Super Bowl's golden anniversary will be held in the Golden State. The new stadium, which opens in 2014, in Santa Clara will host Super Bowl L two years later, the NFL announced Tuesday.
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