This is so sad. A 19-year-old college football player has lost his life from an apparent heart attack. Fred Thompson was playing basketball when he collapsed.
Here’s more details:
Oregon State football player Fred Thompson, 19, died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday evening, leaving the university and its storied football program in shock.
Thompson was playing basketball at the campus recreation center when he collapsed, a statement from the university said. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 7 p.m. local time.
The university said it planned to hold a news conference Thursday to discuss the freshman defensive tackle’s death.
Brandon Sprague, a local reporter, tweeted that he “talked with Fred a month ago. Told him a lot of people thought he could be a BIG time player at OSU. He just looked at me wide-eyed and said, ‘Man, just being here is a blessing. The fact that people believe in me, means everything.’”
“Tonight, I remember that big smile,” Sprague added.
Thompson, a freshman who would have turned 20 on Sunday, went to the Corvallis campus from Richmond, Calif., where he was a standout player at Oakland Technical Senior High.
On his Facebook profile, he expressed his love for football, putting it as his only activity and joking that he was majoring in it.
Sprague tweeted a link to an article from Signing Day in 2010, when Thompson proudly committed to playing for the Beavers.
“I can’t remember the last time I cried,” Thompson told the news website OaklandNorth.net. “The last time I cried was probably at my dad’s funeral.”
Thompson’s father died in 2006.
The university said football coach Mike Riley was off campus recruiting and was on the way back to Corvallis.
Sean Martin, a sophomore cornerback, was one of many Oregon State athletes to take to Twitter upon hearing the news.
“In shock … miss u Fred R.I.P. I’m going to accomplish that plan we made bro,” he tweeted.
Thompson is survived by his mother and two brothers.
So young. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
R.I.P. Fred Thompson