Mississippi State University confirmed on Wednesday that freshman offensive lineman Sam Westmoreland has died. Westmoreland was set to turn 19 years old on Friday and hadn’t yet played in a game for the school.
TMZ Sports reports that no cause of death has yet been revealed. The university is working with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Oktibbeha County Coroner’s Office, the school’s division of student affairs and its athletic department to obtain more information.
“The Mississippi State Athletics Family is heartbroken by the sudden death of Sam Westmoreland,” Bulldogs coach Mike Leach said in a released statement. “Sam was a beloved son, brother and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future. He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him. The entire MSU Family mourns as our thoughts and prayers go out to the Westmoreland family. Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time.”
According to Pete Thamel of ESPN, Westmoreland played his high school football in Tupelo, Mississippi, where he earned a Northeast Mississippi Football Coaches Association All-Star Game nod for his final season before he walked onto the Mississippi State team. Outside of football, Westmoreland was an industrial technology major.
Per Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports, Bulldogs starting quarterback Will Rogers addressed the news via Twitter: