Mississippi State freshman football player Sam Westmoreland died suddenly Wednesday morning, the school announced.
Westmoreland, 19, was an offensive lineman from Tupelo. He had not appeared in a game this season.
“The Mississippi State Athletics Family is heartbroken by the sudden death of Sam Westmoreland,” Bulldogs coach Mike Leach said. “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.”
Westmoreland’s death remains under investigation by university and local law enforcement authorities, according to a release issued by Mississippi State. The school is withholding further comment until that investigation is complete.
“One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned while leading this great university is that the tragic loss of one of our students diminishes all of our students — and all of us at Mississippi State feel the impact of Sam Westmoreland’s death,” school president Mark E. Keenum said. “My prayers are with Sam’s family and friends, with his MSU teammates and coaches, and with the Tupelo community during this most difficult time.”
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers posted the following on Twitter:
No. 24 Mississippi State (5-2) travels to No. 6 Alabama (6-1) on Saturday.