Mississippi State football player Sam Westmoreland passed away at the age of 18

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The university is working in conjunction with the Oktibbeha County sheriff’s and coroner’s offices to determine the reason for death.

Mississippi State on Wednesday announced that footballer Sam Westmoreland has died at the age of 18 years old.

According to the Oktibbeha County Sherrif’s Office said they discovered Westmoreland dead in the Blackjack Missionary Baptist Church, located four miles from Mississippi State’s campus The Clarion Ledger reports. An ongoing investigation is being conducted there is no evidence of foul play believed to be involved.

A student in Tupelo, Mississippi, was an offensive lineman on the team who was playing during his freshman season..

“One among the more important lessons I’ve learned in my years of leading this amazing university is that the devastating passing of a student degrades the impact of all our students — and makes all members of Mississippi State feel the impact of the death of Sam Westmoreland,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum stated in an announcement.

“My prayers are for the family members and close friends of Sam, along with and for his MSU teammates and coach, and for the Tupelo community at this difficult period.”

The University is working with officials from the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Oktibbeha County Coroner’s Office to discover what transpired to Westmoreland.

“The Mississippi State athletics family is devastated by the sudden loss of Sam Westmoreland,” head coach Mike Leach said. “Sam was a loved son as well as a teammate, brother and an incredible young man with an endless possibilities for the future. Sam will always be remembered and will be deeply missed by all who knew him and loved him.

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“The whole MSU Family mourns as our prayers and thoughts go towards those in the Westmoreland family. Our top priority is to support the Westmoreland family as well as our student-athletes in this time of sorrow.”

Westmoreland had been a walking-on for his Bulldogs program. He was also an Industrial Technology student at the University following his graduation at Tupelo High School.

STARKVILLE, MS – OCTOBER 08: Arkansas Razorbacks running back Raheim Sanders (5) gets tackled during the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Arkansas Razorbacks on October 8, 2022 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, MS. (Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Mississippi State is offering counseling sessions from Monday to Friday beginning at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For students.

“Mississippi State University is like a part of a family and we are all grieving at this difficult moment. Our prayers and thoughts will be with the Westmoreland family as well as everyone whom knew, loved and admired Sam,” said John Cohen, MSU director of athletics.

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