Ty Jordan, a star freshman running back for the University of Utah, has died at the age of 19, school officials announced on Saturday.
Authorities in Texas, where Jordan grew up, and Utah have not released details about the circumstances of Jordan’s death. However, a police spokesperson in Denton, Texas, told ESPN on Saturday that officers had responded to a report of a shooting on Friday night. The gunshot victim found at the scene died later in hospital.
“Following a preliminary investigation, we do believe that this was an accidental shooting, where the victim accidentally shot himself,” the spokesperson told ESPN.
Earlier this week, Jordan was named Pac-12’s newcomer of the year.
“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 coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement.
Jordan had become the focal point of his team’s offense this season. He finished the season with 597 yards rushing, 11 catches for 126 yards and six touchdowns. His breakout season had come after the death of his mother in August.
Utah was one of nearly two dozen major college football teams to decline an opportunity to play a postseason bowl game, instead allowing players who had been in strict Covid-19 protocols for months begin their off-seasons.