Utah Utes freshman running back Ty Jordan is dead at 19 following what police are describing as an accidental shooting. The school announced the tragic news on Saturday morning.
Rest In Peace, #22. Forever in our hearts.
We love you, Ty. pic.twitter.com/ZaXjWKg4Nc
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) December 26, 2020
Jordan had just been named Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year after running for 597 yards and six touchdowns in five games. He was also named second-team All Pac-12 after finishing fourth in the conference in rushing yards. He was also the first Utah freshman to have three consecutive 100-yard rushing games in 25 years.
He had enrolled at Utah from West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas, and was in Texas when the tragedy occurred.
Officers with the Denton, Texas Police Department responded to a call about a shooting on Friday evening. When they arrived they discovered a gunshot victim. While he was transported to the hospital and life-saving measures were applied, he was later pronounced dead.
“Following a preliminary investigation, we do believe that this was an accidental shooting, where the victim accidentally shot himself,” Denton Police Department public information officer Allison Beckwith told ESPN.
Ty Jordan was named Pac-12 Rookie of the Year yesterday.
Ty Jordan is dead today.
Don't take life for granted. pic.twitter.com/xyXjissaYG
— Steven R. Walker (@Steve_R_Walker) December 26, 2020
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham released a statement about how devastated everyone associated with the team.
“Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us,” Whittingham said in a statement. “He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, all of us in the Utah Football Family want to say we love you Ty, and may you rest in peace.”
Utah President Ruth V. Watkins released a statement regarding Jordan’s death as well.
On behalf of the entire University of Utah, our love and condolences to Ty Jordan’s family, friends, teammates and coaches. We are devastated by this heartbreaking news. To watch Ty on the field was to be thrilled by his athleticism and talent. Rest In Peace, Ty. https://t.co/nPyMWq6Z5M
— Ruth V. Watkins (@RuthVWatkins) December 26, 2020
“On behalf of the entire University of Utah, our love and condolences to Ty Jordan’s family, friends, teammates, and coaches. We are devastated by this heartbreaking news. To watch Ty on the field was to be thrilled by his athleticism and talent. Rest In Peace, Ty.”
And there was a statement from Utah AD Mark Harlan as well.
“We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Ty Jordan’s passing early this morning and our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved him dearly, including the young men in our football program. Our priority is on supporting his family and the student-athletes, coaches, and staff in our football program who are so deeply hurting right now. Coach Whittingham and I are working closely to provide support and resources for our Utah Football family in this extremely difficult time.”