Former NFL and Virginia Tech Safety Keion Carpenter Dies at Age 39

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2016

ATLANTA - 2005:  Keion Carpenter of the Atlanta Falcons poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Getty Images)
NFL Photos/Getty Images /Getty Images

Former Virginia Tech Hokies defensive back Keion Carpenter—who also played for the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons in the NFL—died Thursday, according to a family spokesperson.

Reporter Bruce Cunningham passed along the confirmation, noting Carpenter died in Miami at 6:47 a.m. on Thursday. Carpenter collapsed during a run on Wednesday, per noted Wednesday the Virginia Tech football team tweeted a statement from former coach Frank Beamer praising Carpenter for his play and heart, although the tweet was eventually deleted.

According to the Daily Press, a family member called to deny initial reports of Carpenter's death. However, Virginia Tech and Beamer posted the following Thursday morning:

Carpenter was 39 years old and played six seasons in the NFL.

He was the CEO and founder of The Carpenter House, which "aims to strengthen and empower families from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing access to resources, activities and structured environments that enable them to reach their highest academic and economic potential."

Carpenter played with the Hokies from 1995 to 1998 and appeared in 11 games each season. He tallied 10 career interceptions—five during his senior campaignand ran two of those picks back for touchdowns. He was also a special teams contributor as a punt and kick returner.

He appeared in 83 career games and notched 14 interceptions during his time with the Falcons and Bills.