Rice University defensive lineman Blain Padgett was found dead in his apartment on Friday, the university confirmed in a statement.
Rice head football coach Mike Bloomgren and Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard offered these statements on the passing of Blain Padgett:
Mike Bloomgren: “Our team is devastated by this news. All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain’s family and his teammates in this very difficult period.”
Joe Karlgaard: “Our entire athletic department is in mourning over the loss of Blain Padgett. Blain was a great friend and teammate and the sense of loss is overwhelming to his teammates, his friends, but most importantly to his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers. We will do everything in our power to provide assistance to our student-athletes in this incredibly difficult time.
ABC-13 (Houston) reports that Rice football coaches started to worry about Padgett after he didn’t show up for a workout on Friday morning, and contacted his family. Padgett was found at his apartment and “apparently died in his sleep.” The cause of death is unknown.
Padgett only played three games in 2017 after a shoulder injury ended his season. He was the star of Rice’s defensive line in his 2016 sophomore season, with 41 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. He was expected to be a key contributor for Rice in 2018.