Purdue superfan Tyler Trent died Tuesday. He was 20.
Trent rocketed to college football stardom during the 2018 season. He suffered from osteosarcoma and the cancer had spread to his spine and kidneys. Trent was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and it had gone away. But it came back in 2017 in his pelvis just before he was set to be a freshman at Purdue.
Trent became an inspirational figure for the football team and the Indiana community. He wrote columns for the Indianapolis Star. He was the subject of an ESPN feature before Purdue played Ohio State. That game was at Purdue. The Boilermakers beat the Buckeyes by 29. If you believe in inspiration and influence, then it’s easy to attribute at least part of that win to Trent.
“His passion for life, his passion for Purdue football, his passion to do whatever he could, even in the midst of this crazy, horrible journey that he was on,” said Jamie Renbarger, Trent’s doctor at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. “He still wanted to help people. He was just a really genuine human being.”
His relentless positivity in the face of sickness and mortality was why he was given the Spirit award at ESPN’s college football awards telecast in December and named an honorary team captain before the Boilermakers’ game against Indiana.
Purdue won that game to finish 6-6 and make it to the Music City Bowl. Trent was an honorary captain for that game too and was flown to the game on Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay’s private jet.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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