The University of Arkansas is reeling after a promising 19-year-old football player died on Sunday after being found unresponsive in his dorm room.
Garrett Uekman, a sophomore from Little Rock, Ark., was rushed to Washington Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday afternoon.
“Garrett Uekman was a special member of our family, and we are all saddened by his passing,” Razorbacks’ coach Bobby Petrino said in a brief statement, appearing to fight back tears. “His loss is a terrible shock, and it makes you realize how precious life is. Garrett was a great teammate and loved being a Razorback.”
Uekman’s parents, Danny and Michelle, added in a statement released through the school that their son loved his coaches, teammates and the school.
“Our son was living his dream going to the U of A and playing football for the Razorbacks,” they said.
Police said in a statement that Uekman had been in “playing video games” and was believed to be in good health an hour before he was found unconscious. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy.
Uekman, a tight end, played in nine games for the Razorbacks this season. On a Facebook page dedicated to his memory, hundreds of people sent well-wishes.
“Love and sympathy to the family, friends and teammates of this wonderful young man. He is our Razorback!” one wrote.
nike free 3
The university planned to hold a vigil for Garrett on Monday night.
The school said it plans to continue with its game this week, with the Razorbacks taking on top-ranked LSU on Friday.
“Certainly the feelings of Garrett’s family [are\] that football and the University of Arkansas and the Razorbacks were very important to him,” athletic director Jeff Long said, “and that he would want us to continue to complete.”
David Estes, Uekman’s high school coach at Little Rock Catholic, told the Associated Press that he was a “coach’s dream.”
“He was one of those special kids and had a passion for everything. He loved Catholic High, loves UA, and wanted to be a Razorback forever. He got to live that dream.”
With News Wire Servicesdiscount shox