Max Tuerk (center) with the Chargers in August 2017.

A former NCAA and NFL offensive lineman is gone too soon. Max Tuerk starred at USC from 2012-15, earning a Freshman All-American nod in 2012 and a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2014, then was picked in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. Tuerck went on to play for the Chargers in 2016 and 2017 (he’s seen at center above in an August 2017 game), then was signed by the Arizona Cardinals off the Chargers’ practice squad in November 2017 before being released by them in April 2018. USC released a statement Sunday about Tuerk’s death at 26:

While that USC statement doesn’t include any information on what happened to Tuerk, Riley Gates of USCFootball.com (the 247 Sports USC site) has some more details:

Former USC football player Max Tuerk died on Sunday, according to a tweet from USC athletics. No cause of death was cited in the tweet, but USCFootball.com on the 247Sports network confirmed that Tuerk collapsed while hiking. Tuerk was 26 years old at the time of his death.

Update: USC later passed on a statement from Tuerk’s family, which says he passed away while hiking with his parents on a trail in the Cleveland National Forest in southern California:

It’s certainly unfortunate to see that. Our thoughts go out to Tuerk’s family and friends.

[247Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.