Click here for my latest, updated story on Ted Agu.
Ted Agu, a 21-year-old member of the Cal football team, died Friday morning during a conditioning workout.
“This is a very difficult time for our football family,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “Ted was a remarkable young man and a member of this family who was highly respected and loved by his teammates and coaching staff. He had an incredible passion for life and will be deeply missed.”
Greg Kragen, a former NFL player with the Denver Broncos and the father of Cal defensive end Kyle Kragen, said his son told him a player passed out during a team run on Friday morning.
A separate tip received by this newspaper said he died at a local hospital.
Agu, a senior-to-be from Bakersfield, was a backup defensive end for the Bears. Originally a non-scholarship player at Cal, he was was surprised by Dykes at a team meeting last March with the news he was being put on scholarship.
In a video interview last spring with CalTV, Agu called that “an unbelievable experience.”
A public health major at Cal, Agu earned Pac-12 All-Academic second-team honors after compiling a 3.28 grade-point average last fall.
He played in seven of Cal’s 12 games last season, totaling six tackles.
Reaction from his teammates was swift.
Freshman teammate Cameron Walker said on Twitter: “You left too soonBut ur in a better place now. & we all have another guardian angel watching over us. I love you, Ted. I miss you already.”
Quarterback Jared Goff tweeted, “I’ll never forget you Ted,” and freshman lineman Eril Bunte, on Twitter, called Agu, “The best example of a true Cal football player. On and off the field …. One of the best men I had the HONOR of knowing.”
Freshman Jonah Hodges said Agu made himself available to help teammates with their academics.
“Prayers out to ted and his family guy was incredibly smart would help me and the other younger guys whenever we needed it in the classroom,” Hodges tweeted.
Earlier, the football office confirmed Agu’s death in an email to parents of players.
“As many of you may have heard, the Cal Football Family suffered a tragic loss this morning,” the email read. “One of our beloved players, Ted Agu, has passed away. We have few details at this moment, but will communicate with the entire football family once they come to light.
“Please keep Ted and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
A news release from the Cal athletic department said players were being provided counseling services. The release also said more information would be provided when it becomes available.