Utah freshman running back Ty Jordan has died at the age of 19, the school announced Saturday.
The Denton Police Department in Texas told ESPN that officers responded to a shooting call at 10:38 p.m. ET on Christmas. When officers arrived, they discovered a gunshot victim who had been shot one time. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was 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.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham released a statement on Jordan’s passing.
“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,” Whittingham said. “Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. 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.”
Jordan had an impressive freshman season for Utah, rushing 83 times for 597 yards (7.2 ypc) with six touchdowns in five games played. He finished the season with three consecutive 100-yard games, averaging 156 rushing yards in that span. For his efforts, he won the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
“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,” Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said in a statement. “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.”