One week after spearheading a comeback against Washington State with 154 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah running back Ty Jordan has died, the school announced Saturday.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the Denton (Texas) Police Department responded to a shooting call at 9:38 p.m. CST on Christmas and arrived to find a single gunshot victim, who was immediately taken to the hospital.
The newspaper reported that the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital and preliminary investigations indicate the gun was discharged accidentally. Police didn’t identify the victim’s name, per The Salt Lake Tribune, ESPN and other media outlets.
“Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a school statement. “Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, all of us in the Utah Football Family want to say we love you Ty and may you rest in peace.”
Utah declined a bowl invitation, so the final game of Jordan’s breakout rookie season came Dec. 19 against WSU in Salt Lake City. The running back from Mesquite, Texas, fueled a comeback in the second half, rushing for three touchdowns after halftime in a 45-28 win that saw the Utes reel off 38 unanswered points. Jordan’s three touchdowns were a season high.
A tweet from Washington State’s football team account read, “Our prayers go out to the Jordan family and the Utah Family. Thinking of you all during this difficult time.”
On Tuesday, Jordan was named the Pac-12’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year, and Friday he was named the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press after rushing 83 times for 597 yards and six touchdowns as a true freshman. Jordan was the conference’s most productive running back through the final three games of the year, rushing for 468 yards and six touchdowns against Oregon State, Colorado and WSU.
“Damn … man…bro was a beast and on his way to legendary things fr (for real),” WSU linebacker Jahad Woods tweeted. “My condolences to his family and the homies at Utah.”
WSU running back Max Borghi offered his condolences on Twitter, posting, “Prayers out to the Jordan family and all his Utah brothers. Man was a baller, was exciting to watch him play. RIP KING.”
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