Utah RB Ty Jordan Dies Due to Accidental Gunshot Wound

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2020, file photo, Utah running back Ty Jordan (22) runs for a score as he eludes a tackle by Washington State linebacker Jahad Woods (13) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Salt Lake City. Jordan was selected as the PAC-12 newcomer of the year. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Utah running back Ty Jordan died Saturday.

Police in Denton, Texas, announced early Saturday morning they had responded to reports of gunshots and that "it is believed the gun was accidentally discharged by the victim" upon conducting a preliminary investigation.

Jake Edmunds of KUTV reported Jordan was the victim in question:

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham issued a statement on Jordan's death:

"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. 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."

Athletic director Mark Harlan offered a comment as well:

"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. 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."

Many inside and outside of the football program reacted to the news:

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Jordan, a native of Mesquite, Texas, was the No. 8 all-purpose back in the 2020 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

The 5'7", 200-pound runner made an immediate impact, leading the Utes with 597 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. His best performance came in the regular-season finale against Washington State. He went for 154 yards and three scores on 22 carries in a 45-28 victory.

The Pac-12 honored Jordan by naming him the conference's Freshman Offensive Player of the Year for 2020. He was also one of two running backs on the All-Offense second team.