As if the death of Tyre Sampson, the 14-year-old who died on an Orlando amusement park ride, wasn't tragic enough ... we've learned the boy had a promising future ahead of him.
Tyre was a gifted athlete with the potential to earn a scholarship to a Division 1 football program ... that's the insight from Brandon Gregory, a football coach at East St. Louis High School, where Tyre was set to play ball this fall.
While he was only in 8th grade, we're told Tyre was already working out with the varsity team at East St. Louis, and had caught Gregory's eye as the school's defensive coordinator.
As you can see, Tyre's a pretty big kid for a middle schooler, and he played on the offensive line.
Gregory says all the coaches and players on the team noticed Tyre's strong work ethic, noting he always stayed late to improve his game. The varsity coaching staff considered him a potential starter going into his freshman year, and one who'd be a key part of the team for years to come.
We're told Tyre -- who teammates called Big Tick -- worked out with the varsity team as recently as Tuesday, before heading down to Florida with a fellow 8th grader and teammate.