Rice defensive lineman Blain Padgett was found dead in his apartment Friday, the school confirmed in a statement. He was 21.
.Padgett missed a workout on Friday morning, and teammates and coaches became worried and contacted his family, according to ABC 13. Later, he was found in his bed and apparently died in his sleep. No cause of death has been released.
Padgett, from Sour Lake, Texas, recorded 41 tackles — 5.5 for a loss — and two sacks as a sophomore in 2016. A shoulder injury limited him to just three games in 2017.
Rice head football coach Mike Bloomgren released this statement on Friday: “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.”
Rice director of athletics Joe Karlgaard 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.”