Sad news out of Mississippi State as the school has announced that football player Sam Westmoreland has died. He was 18 years old.
According to the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, Westmoreland’s body was found at Blackjack Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville, Mississippi.
Investigators reportedly canvased the scene and had it cleared within hours.
Westmoreland’s cause of death has been not reported as the investigation is ongoing, though they do not expect foul play.
Mississippi State announced Westmoreland’s Death On Wednesday
The Mississippi State Athletic Department released a statement announcing the freshman offensive lineman’s death. According to the birthdate listed on Westmoreland’s Mississippi State profile page, he would have turned 19 years old in two days on Oct. 21.
“One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned while leading this great university is that the tragic loss of one of our students diminishes all of our students—and all of us at Mississippi State feel the impact of Sam Westmoreland’s death,” university president Mark E. Keenum said.
“My prayers are with Sam’s family and friends, with his MSU teammates and coaches, and with the Tupelo community during this most difficult time.”
Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach expressed his condolences in the school’s statement. Leach expressed heartbreak at the player’s “sudden death.”
Sam was a beloved son, brother and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future. He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him,” Leach said. “The entire MSU Family mourns as our thoughts and prayers go out to the Westmoreland family. Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time.”
According to the university’s statement, Westmoreland hailed from Tupelo, Mississippi, and was an industrial technology major.
Mississippi State University confirmed that they are working with Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Oktibbeha County Coroner’s Office, the MSU Division of Student Affairs, and the MSU Athletics Department in the ongoing investigation.