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Sports Community Mourns Loss of Utah Football Star Ty Jordan at Age 19

Newsweek logo Newsweek 12/26/2020 James Crowley
a football player throwing a ball: Ty Jordan #22 of the Utah Utes gets away from Jahad Woods #13 of the Washington State Cougars during their game December 19, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. © Chris Gardner//Getty Ty Jordan #22 of the Utah Utes gets away from Jahad Woods #13 of the Washington State Cougars during their game December 19, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ty Jordan, a star running back for the University of Utah, died Friday night. The 19-year-old athlete is being mourned across social media by the college football community and Utah alumni.

The school confirmed the news on Saturday. The Associated Press reported that no details behind the circumstances of the star's death have been released.

Jordan was recently named the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham mourned Jordan's loss. "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. 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," he said in a statement.

Director of Athletics Mark Harlan also expressed devastation at Jordan's death and offered condolences to the player's family, friends and team. "We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Ty Jordan's passing early this morning and our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved him dearly, including the young men in our football program. Our priority is on supporting his family and the student-athletes, coaches and staff in our football program who are so deeply hurting right now. Coach Whittingham and I are working closely to provide support and resources for our Utah Football family in this extremely difficult time," he said in a statement.

The college's president Ruth V. Watkins also eulogized Jordan in a tweet, offering condolences to his loved ones. "To watch Ty on the field was to be thrilled by his athleticism and talent," she wrote. The Utah football team also tweeted a short memorial for Jordan, declaring the he's "forever in our hearts."

Other college teams and coaches offered condolences and memorials for the player, who seemingly would've gone on to do more great things. University of Southern California head coach Clay Helton and his Colorado University counterpart Karl Dorrell offered thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and members of the Utah Football community.

"Ty was as special a person as he was a player. Rest In Peace #22," Helton wrote.

Some Utah alumni who have gone on to play in the NFL also tweeted remembrances for Jordan, including Los Angeles Rams placekicker Matthew Gay and Denver Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles.

Utah Governor-elect Spencer Cox also memorialized the player in a tweet, writing that he and his family watched every single game.

Newsweek reached out to the University of Utah for comment.

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