Rice University mourns the death of football player

HOUSTON – Rice University is mourning the death of football player Blain Padgett.

He was found dead Friday morning in his apartment. The cause of death is unknown, but it appears he possibly passed away in his sleep.

Padgett was a defensive lineman for the university and had a bright future ahead of him on and off the field.

Head coach Mike Bloomgren said he and the team are deeply upset by the passing of Padgett.

"Our team is devastated by this news. All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain's family and his teammates in this very difficult period," Bloomgren said.

The red shirt junior was from Sour Lakes, Texas and graduated from Hardin Jefferson High School.

While at Rice University, he made a name for himself as a defensive end.

"When I got the call early this afternoon about his passing, it just stops you in your tracks," former Rice head coach David Bailiff said. “He was a remarkable young man, very bright future in football and very bright future as a Rice graduate.”

Joe Karlgaard, director of athletics at Rice University, said his thoughts and prayers are with Padgett's family and friends during this time.

“Our entire athletic department is in mourning over the loss of Blain Padgett," Karlgaard said. "Blain was a great friend and teammate and the sense of loss is overwhelming to his teammates, his friends, but most importantly to his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers. We will do everything in our power to provide assistance to our student-athletes in this incredibly difficult time.”

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