All-star quarterback Tom Brady joined those sending support to an injured teen football player in Monmouth County.

The NFL icon and seven-time Super Bowl champion sent a video message on behalf of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to 18-year-old Aaron Van Trease.

Van Trease, a senior at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, suffered a severe spinal cord injury during a game on Sept. 23 and has remained at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Tom Brady's message to Aaron Van Trease

“Hey Aaron, I’m really sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through and I know you’re super strong and very courageous… And I wanted to let you know we’re all thinking about you, we’re wishing you the very best of luck in all that you’re going through — we care about you and we want you to feel great, ASAP. So take good care you have a lot of support, you have a lot of people that love you and care about you and count us among those people,” Brady said in the clip shared on Twitter.

Other well-wishers have included current Jets pro-Alijah Vera-Tucker, retired players and commentators Tiki Barber, Kurt Warner, Joe Klecko, Howie Long, Brian Baldinger and more.

Community helping Aaron Van Trease

More than $152,000 has been raised for Aaron’s continued recovery through a GoFundMe campaign.

Another effort to raise funds for the Van Trease family has been a special merchandise store, bearing his initials and number “18,” run by Asylum Sports Center based in Wall Township.

Keyport_HS_football_player_Logan_Blank_spinal_cord-injury (Keyport Football Alumni Association via GoFundMe)
(Keyport Football Alumni Association via GoFundMe)

Second severe spinal injury of the season

Over the weekend, a second Monmouth County high school football player suffered a severe neck and spinal injury on Saturday.

Keyport High School senior linebacker Logan Blanks has undergone multiple surgeries at Jersey Shore Medical Center.

The Keyport Football Alumni Association, in organizing a GoFundMe for Logan, has said there is a strong outlook for a full recovery.

St. John Vianney now has joined other communities in supporting Logan and his team, who had previously sent their well-wishes to SJV and Aaron's loved ones.

It’s been a particularly harrowing football season across the state, as both severe game-time injuries follow the death of a 16-year-old player from Union County.

Linden resident and high school sophomore Xavier McClain suffered a traumatic brain injury during a game on Sept. 9.

He had remained on life support and died on Sept. 21, according to his family.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at

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