Rice star defensive end Blain Padgett found dead

Rice University defensive end Blain Padgett was found dead in his apartment during a wellness check Friday after he failed to show up for an Owls practice. He was 21.

Rice University head football coach Mike Bloomgren issued the following statement:

"Our team is devastated by this news," Bloomgren said. "All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain's family and his teammates in this very difficult period."

Joe Karlgaard, Rice University's athletics director  also released a statement:

"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."

Padgett's high school alma mater Hardin-Jefferson High School in Texas, tweeted:

 In 2017, Padgett missed the rest of the year with an injury after tallying 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks across his first three games of the season. In 2016, he ranked sixth on the team with 11 starts and 12 games  with 41 tackles.

The cause of death is not yet known.

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