Utah running back and Pac-12 freshman offensive player of the year Ty Jordan dies

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read

Utah running back Ty Jordan has died.

The school announced his death Saturday morning. Jordan, a native of Mesquite, Texas, was named the Pac-12 offensive freshman of the year earlier this week and was also a second-team all-conference selection.

“Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. 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.”

Utah did not disclose the cause of Jordan’s death in its announcement. The Denton, Texas, police department told ESPN that it believed that Jordan died after he accidentally shot himself. Police said they responded to a call of a gunshot victim at just after 9:30 p.m. local time Friday.

Jordan played in all five of Utah’s games in 2020 and had 83 carries for 597 yards and six touchdowns. Jordan had 723 combined rushing and receiving yards and averaged over seven yards per carry.

Only Arizona State’s Rachaad White, who had 42 carries for 420 yards, averaged more yards per carry among Pac-12 players.

Jordan became the first Utah freshman to rush for 100 yards in three consecutive games in 25 years. He had 7 carries for 167 yards in the Utes’ win over Oregon State, 17 carries for 147 yards against Colorado and then ended the season with 154 yards on 22 carries against Washington State. He scored all six of his rushing touchdowns in those three games and, not coincidentally, those games happened as Utah ended the season on a three-game win streak.

Utah finished the season at 3-2 and declined a bowl berth.

Jordan was a three-star recruit in the class of 2020 according to Rivals. He was ranked as the No. 12 all-purpose back in the country and the No. 74 player in the state of Texas.

Utah running back Ty Jordan (22) runs for a score as he eludes a tackle by Washington State linebacker Jahad Woods (13) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Utah running back Ty Jordan had 597 yards rushing in 2020. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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