HUNTINGTON - Former Marshall University linebacker J.T. Rembert passed away on Monday night, July 9.
John Thomas Rembert, known to everyone as “J.T.,” was on vacation at Myrtle Beach, S.C. with his wife, child, family and friends when he reportedly had a seizure.
Tony Hendrick, deputy coroner with Horry County Coroner’s Office, confirmed the death of John Rembert of West Virginia, the linebacker’s given name, according to Grant Traylor on-line at The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington.
According to Hendrick, preliminary autopsy reports showed Rembert passed away of a pulmonary embolism (blood clot). Rembert recently had surgery on his foot to repair Achilles damage, Hendrick said.
Rembert graduated from Marshall in 2005, with a B.S. from the College of Education in Social Studies, Grades 5-12.
In recent years, Rembert worked and lived in Huntington with his wife, Shannon (married May 6 of 2008), and son, Keegan, age two.
The family is expecting another child this year.
He was an Account Manager with Western and Southern Life Insurance agency in Charleston, W.Va., working with Rich Sports Management clients on life-injury-health-unemployment insurance policies, for athletes mainly in the National Football League.
Clients have included former Marshall teammates like Chris Royal and Doug Legursky to Keilen Dykes and Ernest Hunter from WVU and many other players with NFL experience.
He is the third player from the 2001-04 group to die suddenly before age 30, including fellow linebacker Donte Newsome (killed by gunfire in 2008) and defensive end Johnathan Goddard (killed in single vehicle accident, also in 2008).
Since 2009, Rembert has run a golf tournament in the Huntington area, funding a scholarship in the name of Goddard, attracting many former Marshall players and teammates.
Robert Harper, former member of the Thundering Herd Radio Network from 2000-06, talked about one of his best friends from those days with the Herd.
“It’s just so unexpected,” said Harper, currently the “Voice” of the University of North Florida Ospreys in Jacksonville, Fla. after serving five years in a similar capacity at Campbell University.
“It does not seem possible J.T. could be gone, at such a young age. It doesn’t seem possible at all.”
Harper mentioned that former Herd kicked Curtis Head is one of the group of Rembert’s family and friends who were renting a house for vacation at the popular beach which many residents of West Virginia visit each summer.
Rembert was a four-year letter winner for the Thundering Herd Head Coach Bob Pruett between 2001-04.
He captained the 2003 and 2004 teams, along with fellow captains such as quarterback Stan Hill; defensive back Roberto Terrell; defensive tackle Toriano Brown; center Joey Stepp; offensive tackles Nate McPeek and Nate Griffin; receivers Darius Watts and Josh Davis; linebacker Charlie Tynes; and defensive ends Jamus Martin and Goddard.
Rembert helped the team to win one Mid-American Conference title in 2002 (runner-up in 2001) and advance to three bowl games in four years, winning the 2001 and 2002 GMAC Bowls in Mobile, Ala.
Marshall beat East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl, 64-61, coming back from 8-38 deficit at halftime. It is the highest scoring bowl in NCAA history.
The Herd came back to the GMAC Bowl in 2002 and knocked off Louisville, 38-15, but fell in the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl (at TCU’s Carter-Amon Stadium) in 2004 to Cincinnati, 32-14, in one of the coldest games in MU history.
Rembert played as a true freshman, then started all 12 games his sophomore year of 2002.
In 2003, injuries held him down to nine total games (six starts), but he started all 12 games as a senior to play in 44 games in his career, starting in 27.
He recorded 83 solo tackles and 92 assists for 175 total tackles. He had 11.5 career tackles for loss (-29 yards) and 2.5 career sacks.
Rembert had two interceptions in 2002, then two more in 2004, and returned a fumble 29 yards in 2003 after returning a fumble for a 34-yard touchdown in 2002 against Buffalo.
In his career, he had four interceptions (returned for +12 yards), two quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two fumbles returns (returned for 63 yards and one score) and broke up two passes in his career.
Rembert played his best games against some of the Herd’s best opponents. He had a career-best 14 tackles against Virginia Tech in 2002; he had a season-best seven tackles at No. 11 Tennessee in 2003, a 24-34 Herd loss; and he picked off a pass to preserve a 26-20 win over UCF in 2002.
He helped Marshall to upset No. 6 Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas in 2003, 27-20, and he helped the Herd to pull near upsets at No. 9 Ohio State (21-14 loss) and at No. 3 Georgia (3-13) in 2004.
Coming to Marshall to play for the Herd in 2001, Rembert was a four-year letter winner at Oakland Hills High School in Columbia, Maryland for coach Ken Hovet.
As a senior, he was named the Howard County Player of the Year and was a first team All-Metro selection by The Baltimore Sun newspaper in 2000.
Rembert rushed for 1,240 yards and 24 touchdowns, passed for 790 yards and an additional 11 touchdowns (44-of-89), all while leading his team with 69 solo tackles and 72 assists for 141 total tackles.
That season he had nine sacks, two fumbles recovered and an interception but found time to also lead the team in punting with 15 boots for a 36.3 yards per punt average and hit eleven point-after touchdown kicks.
He led Oakland Mills to the Maryland state championship in football, later playing in the Baltimore Metro All-Star Game in 2001. Arrangements are incomplete at this time.