Open in App
May need paid subscription
VC Star | Ventura County Star

Jessie Lemonier, former Ventura College, NFL linebacker, dies at 25

By Joe Curley, Ventura County Star,


Former Ventura College and NFL linebacker Jessie Lemonier has died at the age of 25, the Detroit Lions confirmed Thursday.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Lemonier was the SCFA Northern Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, when he had 79 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks for the Pirates.

"We’re deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our former player Jessie Lemonier who passed away today," Ventura College football coach Steve Mooshagian said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

"Jessie was a 3-year player for us and a great young man. This loss will hurt for a long time and he will be forever missed."

No cause of death has been revealed.

The Hialeah, Florida, native was an undrafted free agent from Liberty University when he broke into the NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020, appearing in six games and making two tackles.

"My brother, man," Chargers defensive end Breiden Fehoko posted on Twitter. "We came in to the league together had to battle through everything rookie year to get where we are. You were always filled with life bro.... Please check up on your people."

He played seven games for the Lions in 2021, starting two games and making 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

The lone full sack of his career came against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a 37-30 win over the Packers on Jan. 9, 2022.

"Words cannot begin to describe how heartbroken I am, just doesn’t feel real at all," former Ventura College teammate Connor McArthur posted on Twitter. "I love you, brother. Always were family, since we stepped on campus at VC together and will be forever. Going to miss you, Big Jess."

Former Ventura College assistant coach Jeff Fischer posted on Twitter, "Lemonier was so contagious to be around. Had such a bright future. Gone way too soon."

Lemonier signed with the Arizona Cardinals last summer and played in a preseason game before being released during training camp.

He was a recent draft pick of the XFL's Arlington Renegades, but was planning to play in the USFL this spring after signing with the Houston Gamblers and being traded to the Birmingham Stallions.

"Jessie was a model teammate and wonderful young man who is gone far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time," the Lions said in a statement.

Lemonier's older brother, Corey, played four years in the NFL, including three with San Francisco.

His agent told ESPN that Lemonier and his girlfriend were expecting a child.

Joe Curley covers high school, collegiate and professional football for The Star. He can be reached at For more coverage, follow @vcsjoecurley on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. USA Today's Steve Gardner contributed to this report.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
Local Florida State newsLocal Florida State
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0