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Oregon Ducks tight end Spencer Webb, 22, dies after striking head in fall near rock slides

Oregon Ducks tight end Spencer Webb died on Wednesday after he fell and suffered a head injury while visiting western Oregon's Triangle Lake, authorities said. Webb, 22, was preparing to enter his fifth season at the university.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office confirmed Webb's identity on Thursday after releasing details about the incident on Wednesday evening. Webb's family and high school football coaches previously confirmed his death in reported comments to the Sacramento Bee.   

Valero Alamo Bowl - Oregon v Oklahoma
Spencer Webb catches a pass before a game between the Oregon Ducks and Oklahoma Sooners on December 29, 2021. Webb died in an accident Wednesday at the age of 22. Ronald Cortes / Getty Images

Authorities responded to the incident at Triangle Lake around 2:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, according to the sheriff's office, after receiving reports that someone was hurt near the area's rock slides. Rock slides are sloped rock formations that Triangle Lake visitors use as "natural water slides," which are surrounded by waterfalls and spaces for swimming. 

Once they arrived, deputies said they discovered Webb unconscious in a spot "approximately 100 yards down a steep trail" and learned from others at the scene that he had been "recreating in the area" before falling and hitting his head. Webb could not be revived. 

The sheriff's office described Webb's death as an apparent accident, as they had not found any evidence of foul play at the time of their last update. 

Webb was raised in Sacramento and became a celebrated tight end over years playing football at Christian Brothers High School.

Dan Lanning, head football coach of the Oregon Ducks, paid tribute to Webb in a tweet shared Wednesday night. "So full of life in every moment of the day," he wrote. "Your smile and energy will be missed Spencer. I love you!"

Webb's teammate Isaah Cocker also reacted to the news of his friend's death on social media. "Shocked. Unbelievable. Unreal," he captioned an Instagram post with photos of them together. Cocker's Instagram avatar is now a picture of him and Webb talking on the sidelines at a game.

NFL player Arik Armstead, who played collegiately at Oregon, tweeted a video clip of him and Webb shaking hands in the locker room. "Rest easy lil bro," Armstead wrote. "Great young man with a promising future gone too soon."

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