Ty Jordan is dead at the age of 19.
The Utah RB and Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year was pronounced dead on Friday night due to a single gun shot wound.
A preliminary investigation has determined that Jordan accidentally shot himself.
The Denton (Texas) Police Department told ESPN that its officers responded to a shooting call at 10:38 p.m. ET Friday. Officers discovered a gunshot victim who had been shot one time. After life-saving measures were applied, the victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Jordan, the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year after running for 597 yards with six touchdowns on 83 carries in five games for the Utes, was from Mesquite, Texas, and attended West Mesquite High.
“On behalf of the entire University of Utah, our love and condolences to Ty Jordan’s family, friends, teammates and coaches. We are devastated by this heartbreaking news. To watch Ty on the field was to be thrilled by his athleticism and talent. Rest In Peace, Ty,” Utah President Ruth V. Watkins said in a tweeted statement Saturday.
Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said the team is devastated.
“Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us,” Whittingham said in a statement. “He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. 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.”
Jordan was named to the All-Pac-12 second team. He ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in rushing yards and third in rushing yards per game. Jordan was the first Utah freshman to have three consecutive 100-yard rushing games since 1995.
“We share in the shock and sadness felt by our Utah community today upon learning of the passing of one of our family members, Ty Jordan,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences are with his loved ones. The entire Pac-12 and college football family mourns this tremendous loss.”
In November 2019, a photograph of Jordan and an opposing player from Sherman High School went viral. After Sherman High’s 56-27 victory over West Mesquite High, Sherman’s Gage Smith asked Jordan if they could kneel and pray together. Smith had learned that Jordan’s mother, Tiffany, was battling stage 4 lung and bone cancer.
Jordan’s aunt posted photos of the moment to Facebook.
“It made me cry,” Tiffany Jordan told Today.com at the time. “[Smith] didn’t have to do that. The fact that he took the time to pray with Ty for me, that took my breath away.”
Tiffany Jordan died in August, according to a tweet by Ty Jordan. She was 43.