Rice DE Blain Padgett Found Dead at Age 21

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 22:Blain Padgett #90 of the Rice Owls and Josiah Freeman #56 of the Prairie View Am Panthers lock up at Rice Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

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.

Ben Kercheval of CBS Sports received confirmation of the news from the school and passed along a statement from head football coach Mike Bloomgren.

"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."

Rice athletics director 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."

No further information or a cause of death was immediately released.

Hardin-Jefferson High School in Texas, Padgett's alma mater, posted a message of condolence on Twitter:

HJ High School @HJHSHawks

Deeply saddened by the loss of Hawk Alum Blain Padgett. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and all that knew you. Our #7 truly knew what it meant to be a HAWK.

As a junior in 2017, Padgett tallied 10 total tackles and 1.5 sacks across the first three games of the season but missed the rest of the year with an injury. In 11 starts and 12 games in 2016, he ranked sixth on the team with 41 tackles and added two sacks.


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