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Utah Freshman Running Back, North Texas Native Ty Jordan Dies At 19

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Ty Jordan, a star freshman running back for the University of Utah who grew up in Mesquite, Texas has died, school officials announced Saturday, Dec. 26.

Authorities in Texas and Utah have not released details about the circumstances of the Jordan's death. A day earlier, Jordan was named Pac-12's newcomer of the year.

Ty Jordan
Utah Utes running back Ty Jordan (22) runs the ball during a PAC12 football game between the Utah Utes and the Washington Huskies on November 28, 2020, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. (credit: Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"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," Utah Head Football Coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement.

Jordan, a speedy 5-foot-7, 200-pound player, emerged from a crowded Utah backfield to become the focal point of the team's offense. He finished the season with 597 yards rushing, 11 catches for 126 yards and six touchdowns.

Jordan came up as a tailback playing at West Mesquite High School and was a highly touted recruit.

He made a seamless transition to the college game, including three straight 100-yard rushing performances to close out the season.

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.

Back in August, Jordan tweeted that his mother died after a battle with cancer.

Some of Jordan's Utah teammates tweeted out their condolences.

"Wow! This one hurts R.I.P lil bro #LLTJ," Utah running back Devin Brumfield said.

"Rest In Peace Ty. Can't believe your gone. Grateful our lives crossed paths. You will forever be missed," Utah quarterback Jake Bentley said.

A friend and former teammate, Gage Smith, told CBS 11 News he wants Jordan to be remembered for his legacy off the field.

"Seeing the type of person that kid is and seeing his heart for other people, that's what I want people to remember about him... As good as he was, you would want to remember the type of person he is," Smith said.

Smith and Jordan went viral on social media after a picture was posted of the two of them on different teams in high school kneeling in prayer for Jordan's mother during her battle.

Texas high school football players pray
Sherman High School football player Gage Smith (R) prays with West Mesquite's Ty Jordan (L). (Credit: Takka Jordan/Facebook)

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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