ST. PETERSBURG -- It was clear Northeast High School senior Leshawn Williams was hurt in Friday night's game, but no one dreamed he would lose his leg.
Now the lineman has a long road to recovery ahead of him.
Williams is known among his Viking teammates as happy, active, and motivated.
Missing from the field during practice after school Monday, Williams was in a hospital bed.
Williams suffered a knee injury during Friday’s game. Friends say circulation never returned, and doctors had to remove his leg at just above his knee. Those who know just how hard this will be for Williams are pouring in to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.
"It was kind of shocking to me, because I’ve known him for a while, and it's something new,” said fellow student Darius Brown, who came to visit Williams at the hospital. "I'd never think something like that would happen, happen to somebody like him."
"He lived breathed football," said another friend, Marcus Wynn.
Williams’ passion for the game is evident on his Twitter page. There are players featured in photos, and his bio reads 'love football.’
Williams tweeted from Bayfront, showing strength during a tough time."I gotta pull through this!" he wrote. "This ain't me!"
Friends are confident he will do just that.
"He going to pull through no matter what, and we're going to be right beside him the entire time," said Wynn.
One of Williams’ former coaches from another school came to visit him at the hospital as well. He said it’s going to be important for Williams to have continued support, long after he leaves the hospital.
"He’s an active kid and played football, and now is really going to have a new lifestyle change, which is going to be really difficult for him,” said Neal Caleb. "So now we really have to make sure as educators, and as people, we're still going to try to be there and do what we can for him."
Part of that encouragement was a get-well poster with dozens of signatures from classmates, headed to Williams’ hospital room Monday night.
Hospital officials tell us Williams is still in the intensive care unit, where friends have been coming in, two at a time, to see him.