Ty Jordan

Utah College Football Player Ty Jordan, Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Dies

Official details about his death were not immediately available

Utah Utes running back Ty Jordan (22) runs the ball during a PAC12 football game between the Utah Utes and the Washington Huskies on November 28, 2020, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ty Jordan, a former West Mesquite High football player and University of Utah standout has died, the college confirmed Saturday.

Jordan, 19, graduated from West Mesquite High School in spring 2019 and "was just beginning a promising career in college football at the University of Utah," Principal Karen Morris said.

"Ty was loved by his teachers and admired by his peers," Morris said in a statement. "We are heartbroken by this tragic loss and wish peace and comfort to Ty's family and friends."

Official details about his death were not immediately available.

Jordan, a running back at Utah, had recently been named 2020 AP Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, and Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and All-Pac-12 second team by the league , according to the university.

Jordan, a speedy 5-foot-7, 200-pound player, emerged from a crowded Utah backfield to become the focal point of the team's offense. He finished the season with 597 yards rushing, 11 catches for 126 yards and six touchdowns.

In written statements Saturday, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and Athletics Director Mark Harlan offered condolences and expressed their sadness at learning of Jordan's death.

Whittingham said Jordan left "an indelible mark on each of us."

"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," Whittingham said. "Ty's personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. ... 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."

Harlan said the priority was supporting Jordan's family and those in the football program "who are so deeply hurting right now."

"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," Harlan said. "Coach Whittingham and I are working closely to provide support and resources for our Utah Football family in this extremely difficult time."

Jordan was a highly touted recruit out of high school. He made a seamless transition to the college game, including three straight 100-yard rushing performances to close out the season.

Utah was one of nearly two dozen major college football teams to decline an opportunity to play a postseason bowl game, instead allowing players who had been in strict COVID-19 protocols for months to begin their off-seasons.

In November 2019, as Jordan's mother battled stage 4 lung cancer, a photo went viral that showed him and a friend from the North Texas High team after a game. They were kneeled in prayer for her.

According to a post on Jordan's Twitter account, Tiffany Jordan died in August.

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