JoJo Nicolas

Funeral for JoJo Nicolas is Saturday

The funeral service for former University of Miami football player JoJo Nicolas is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Glendale Baptist Church, 14580 SW 117 Ave., Miami. The funeral is open to the public.

A public viewing for Nicolas is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Covenant Baptist Church, 1055 NW Sixth Ave., Florida City.

Nicolas, who would have been 25 on Monday, died last Wednesday, a day after he crashed his car into the back of an 18-wheeler on the MacArthur Causeway after leaving Miami Beach.

Nicolas graduated from Homestead High and played football at UM from 2007 to 2011.

“It will be a traditional going home service,’’ Nicolas’ older brother, Elliot Davis said Tuesday. “All of this is so tragic.’’

Davis, one of Nicolas’ three brothers, said a few hundred people gathered Monday night at Loren Roberts Park in Florida City for a candlight vigil.

“We wanted to celebrate his birthday in a way that wasn’t celebrating his death, but his life,’’ Davis said. “Initially we thought it would last 30 minutes but it lasted two hours.’’

Davis said several former Miami Hurricanes spoke about Nicolas, including DeMarcus Van Dyke, Brandon Harris, Allen Bailey, Sean Spence and Antrel Rolle.

“It was beautiful,’’ Davis said.


Emotional Vigil for JoJo Nicolas in Florida City

Crowds of loved ones and strangers alike gathered at Loren Roberts Park in Florida City Monday night to mark what would have been the 25th birthday of JoJo Nicolas.

"I had to come and celebrate the life of someone I considered a little brother to me," said Shannan Thomas, who first met the Hurricanes football star before she enrolled at the University of Miami.

At the vigil, she showed off a tattoo of Nicolas' jersey number 29. Though he never realized his dreams of winning a Super Bowl, his former football coach Al Golden regarded him as a born champion.

"JoJo did what many of us can't do in a lifetime. He took the gifts that God bestowed him, and honored them, and played to his fullest," Golden said.

Nicolas was fatally injured in a violent crash on the MacArthur Causeway last Tuesday, Feb. 25. He died of his injuries the next day.

Years ago, Nicolas first showed his football prowess on the same Florida City field where his vigil was held.

Many in the crowd Monday night shared memories of Nicolas on a different field at UM, where they played together as 'Canes. Several of Nicolas' former teammates told his family they are prepared to step in for their missing man, who leaves behind a newborn son.

"We want to make sure we have his back and do anything we can do for you guys, and for everybody else. We got your back JoJo," Brandon Harris told Nicolas' family.

"The people continually ask us what we need, and we just tell them, 'We're full. We're just so richly blessed.' Everybody has our back, and we appreciate that," said Nicolas' mother, Barbara Grant.

Former 'Cane Graig Cooper trembled as he spoke of his last exchange with Nicolas, which he believes was only moments before Nicolas crashed his Lexus into a tractor trailer on the MacArthur Causeway last week. One day later, Nicolas died from his injuries.

"His lady text me and said, 'Jo was looking at your text message," Cooper explained. "He died happy, and I got the last text messages in my phone. I'll never delete them."

From his death, Nicolas' loved ones hope everyone who hears his story will realize the very real dangers of distracted driving.

"[Graig Cooper] said it best when he said he was texting," said one loved one. "[Nicolas] took his eyes off the road for a second – for a second – and ran into that truck."

The official cause of the crash will be determined by Miami Beach Police.

Nicolas' viewing is scheduled for Friday, March 7 at the Covenant Baptist Church. His funeral is planned for Saturday, March 8 at the Glendale Missionary.
Funds are being raised to help cover the costs of those services, and help care for Nicolas' newborn son. For more information, visit

Bookmark and Share

Jojo Nicolas' Girlfriend Mimi Connor Speaks

The girlfriend of a former University of Miami football player who was killed in a violent crash is speaking out for the first time.

Jojo Nicolas' girlfriend Mimi Connor spoke exclusively with NBC 6 about being on the phone with Nicolas as his car crashed head-on into a semi-truck while leaving Miami Beach Tuesday.

"I heard the phone drop and I heard... I don't know what I heard, but I heard something. I'm trying not to cry right now," she said.

Connor said it was a phone call she would never forget.

"Two seconds, like I blinked, then I heard it. Like, wait, 'Hello, Jo, hello?' and he just wasn't there," Connor said.

Nicolas, a four-year letter winner as a defensive back for the Hurricanes from 2007 to 2011, was leaving Miami Beach on Interstate 395 after an early birthday celebration. He would have turned 25 Monday.

When his Lexus slammed into the rear of the 18-wheeler, the hood of his car was shredded apart. Rescuers had to pry open the roof and pull the seat back to rush him to Ryder Trauma Center.

“My heart just fell because he didn’t hang up the phone," Connor said. "That wasn’t him."

Connor said she was at his bedside while his condition fluctuated at Ryder Trauma Center.

“We get to him and we’re asking can we please get to the back? Can we please see him because we just left him and they said he was OK," she said.
But the aspiring NFL player and father died Wednesday.

"We get back there and he’s not ok," she said. "He’s gone and his body is just laying there and before they had him sitting up in the chair and back there he was just laying down. Everybody was like don’t cry, don’t cry, but he’s dead.”

As for the investigation, police said they are looking into everything including speed, alcohol and cell phone use. The investigation could take up to 30 days.
A memorial fund for Nicolas has been set up here. The money raised will go toward funeral expenses and to help in raising his newborn son.

Bookmark and Share

PLEASE Help JoJo Nicolas' Family


Canesfam, JoJo Nicolas’ family need OUR help. They have many expenses with the loss of proCane S JoJo Nicolas including funeral expenses along with needing to raise and support his 5-month old son. Any amount helps and is greatly appreciated to help provide for a family in mourning. PLEASE click here and donate.

Bookmark and Share

JoJo Nicolas Dies Two Days After tractor-trailer crash

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Former University of Miami football player JoJo Nicolas has died a day after getting into a car crash on a Miami Beach highway.

Nicolas' brother, Abner Davis, said Nicolas died about 5 p.m. Wednesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Nicolas was driving home from Miami Beach when his car struck the back of a tractor trailer early Tuesday morning. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The school announced his death Wednesday evening.

"The entire University of Miami family mourns the loss of JoJo Nicolas," Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement. "JoJo was a valued member of our community, our school and our football program, and his loss is devastating to everyone he touched. On behalf of the university, I send our condolences and thoughts and prayers to JoJo's family, friends and teammates. He will forever be a part of The U."

Nicolas played for the Hurricanes from 2007-11. As a starter his senior season, he had 66 tackles and two interceptions and was the recipient of the team's Melching Leadership Award.

"The University of Miami community has suffered a deep loss with the passing of JoJo Nicolas," coach Al Golden said in a statement. "For all of us who were fortunate to know JoJo -- to coach him, teach him, play alongside him or simply to befriend him--we will forever carry his memory with us. Our prayers go out to his family and his loved ones, and he will always be a cherished member of our family."

Bookmark and Share

JoJo Nicolas seriously injured in MacArthur Causeway crash

Just days away from his 25th birthday, JoJo Nicolas tweeted that he was starting his celebration at a South Beach night club.

“Kickin off the bday turn up week at Mansion with my brotha,” wrote the former University of Miami football player Monday night. He later posted a picture from another bar on Instagram.

But what began as a celebration for his March 3 birthday ended with a devastating crash early Tuesday morning as Nicolas’ gray Lexus sedan crashed into the back of an 18-wheeler as he headed out of Miami Beach.

The horrific crash left the sedan wedged under the truck, paralyzed traffic for hours and left Nicolas clinging to life Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Miami Beach detectives looked into possible causes including speed, alcohol and texting, according to according to Miami Beach spokeswoman Vivian Hernandez.

“During this extremely difficult time for JoJo and his family, our Miami family extends our prayers to them and our hope for his recovery,” said Canes football coach Al Golden, who along with family and friends stayed with him at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

“He is a big part of our U family and all of us are pulling for him.”

When word spread that Nicolas, a former Canes defensive back who was on the team from 2007-11, was injured, prayer messages started popping up on social media sites.

“Prayers up for Jojo Nicolas involved in a serious car accident !!!!!!” one person tweeted.

DeMarcus Van Dyke, who played with Nicolas at UM and recently signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, said that it “was a sad situation.”

“I saw him last month,” said Van Dyke, who shared an apartment for two years with Nicolas and said he might have been working at a post office most recently. “I think he was still training and trying to get back into football.”

Several R.I.P. posts spread on different sites throughout the day until his family took to his Instagram account, saying “Jojo is not dead.” As of Tuesday night, Hernandez said there was no change in his condition.

Nicolas, who was featured in a 2011 Miami Herald story after he lost his baby son, is an alumni of Homestead High. In the story, Nicolas opened up about how hard it was to lose his baby, who was born prematurely, while keeping his commitment to the team.

According to Van Dyke he has since had another son.

In May 2012, he signed with the New York Giants as a rookie free agent, but was dropped in Aug. 28. He described himself on Twitter as “Chasing my NFL Dream.”

On Tuesday, police got the first call of a crash on the MacArthur Causeway near Alton Road just after 5 a.m., Hernandez said.

She said it appears the refrigerated food distribution truck was at a red light, about to go, when the Lexus crashed into its rear.

Rescue workers pried off the roof of the sedan to free Nicolas. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. All lanes of traffic heading west had to be shut down for the investigation, but were reopened just after 11 a.m.

Traffic heading eastbound moved slowly, with people sticking phones out of their windows to snap pictures and capture video.

Giants safety Antrel Rolle wished his former teammate a speedy recovery on Twitter.

“Everyone please send your prayers to JoJo,” he said.

Bookmark and Share