Former Florida State and NFL linebacker Geno Hayes died Monday evening at the age of 33 from liver disease. Frankie Carroll, who coached Hayes in high school, confirmed Hayes' death to the Tallahassee Democrat through his family.
"It's one of those things where you have to make sure you tell them you love them," said Carroll.
Hayes had been in hospice care due to the liver condition. He played three seasons with the Seminoles from 2005-07 and seven seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2008-11), Chicago Bears (2012) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-14).
The liver condition had greatly impacted Hayes' health over the last few weeks, which led to his admission into hospice at his parents' home in Georgia.
Hayes was a four-star prospect coming out of high school. He signed with Florida State and played three seasons before declaring for the NFL Draft. He had 80 tackles and five sacks during his junior season in 2007. He was named to the first team All-ACC team following the season and declared for the NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Buccaneers in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
He played sparingly during his rookie season before becoming a key contributor to the Bucs defense in 2009. He totaled 98 tackles during his second season in the NFL, 82 the following year and 64 in 2011. Hayes played in 101 NFL games and started 70 during his seven-year career.