CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has returned from Africa following the death of his older brother.
Joshua Emmanuel Owusu-Koramoah, who played linebacker at William & Mary, was found dead inside a burned house in Hampton, Virginia, on Tuesday. Police are investigating the 23-year-old’s death as a possible homicide.
According to a release from Hampton Police, officers and members of the Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue found Joshua’s body inside the residence as well as evidence of a fire inside the home.
Drew Barker, a former high school teammate of Joshua’s, said the Owusu-Koaramoah brothers, who were raised by a single mother and played sports together, were incredibly close.
“I don’t know of anyone who would be closer than those two,” Barker told AP. “And if Josh wasn’t at (a Browns game), he was watching it on TV or sending in prayers before the game and talking to him after the game.”
The brothers grew up immersed in sports, competitive but also supportive.
“When we were kids, if you ever saw Josh, you would turn your head 360 and you would see Jeremiah somewhere — they were always together,” Barker said. “They were never not sticking together. They always played every sport together. (With) basketball, they were like a dynamic duo on the court. And then you had them on the football field: One on one side and one on the other.”
“They were literally thick as thieves in the sense of sticking together and having each other’s back. They were best friends as well.”
Joshua Owusu-Koramoah, who played college ball from 2016-18, was remembered by his coach.
“Joshua was an outstanding young man from a tremendous family,” William & Mary’s Mike London said. “He was a person of deep faith who was committed to helping others – and was always a positive force in his time around our football program. His tragic loss will be felt by many throughout both the William & Mary and Hampton communities.”
A second-round pick by Cleveland last year, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had traveled to Ghana to help host a youth football camp. The 22-year-old former Notre Dame standout is of Ghanaian descent.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has spent part of this offseason in Northeast Ohio. On March 23, he attended the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards with teammate Greg Newsome II.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah established himself as one of Cleveland’s core defensive players with a strong rookie season. He played 14 games and started 10.
AP correspondent Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this report.