November 20, 2011
Terrible news out of Arkansas, where tight end Garrett Uekman was reportedly found dead in his dorm room Sunday morning of unknown causes. Though his death has been confirmed by multiple outlets in Arkansas, no other information has been made available by police or the university.
Uekman, a 19-year-old redshirt freshman from Little Rock, had seen the field in nine of the Razorbacks' first 11 games this season — including Saturday's 44-17 rout over Mississippi State — though he didn't record any statistics. His final game was played in his hometown, from which the team had returned to Fayetteville a few hours before his death.
His teammates were reportedly informed in an early Sunday afternoon meeting and were spotted embracing outside the football complex. Current and former players have also responded to the news on Twitter. Coach Bobby Petrino was expected to address the situation at some point Sunday.
Arkansas was promoted to No. 3 in both major polls Sunday morning, its highest standing since joining the SEC, and plays at LSU Friday in a game with major conference and national championship implications. Needless to say, the coming week will be a very emotional one for the program in the wake of its loss. Condolences to everyone affected by the worst possible news.
Update, 5:26 a.m., Monday: According to a university spokesman, Uekman was found unconscious and unresponsive in his room around 11:15 a.m. Sunday, about an hour after being seen by a teammate playing video games. He was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. His high school coach described him as "any parent or coach's dream."