The Washington Post

Arkansas football player Garrett Uekman dead at 19

The morning after celebrating a 44-7 victory over Mississippi State that vaulted them up the BCS rankings, the Arkansas football family found itself grieving a tragic loss.

Arkansas is mourning the sudden death of the freshman tight end Garrett Uekman. (Brian Chilson/AP)

“Garrett Uekman was a special member of our family, and we are all saddened by his passing,” Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement. “His loss is a terrible shock, and it makes you realize how precious life is.”

The cause of Uekman’s death had yet to be determined, although university police Lt. Mat Mills said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

In a statement released through the school, Uekman’s parents, Danny and Michelle, said their son was “living his dream of going to the U of A and playing football for the Razorbacks.”

Uekman’s sudden death is the latest tragedy to befall college sports in recent weeks. The Penn State football investigation surrounding alleged child sex abuser and former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is ongoing, and last Thursday Oklahoma State head women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna died in a plane crash near Little Rock, Arkansas.

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.

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