Jason Berryman, former Iowa State defensive end, was found dead on Wednesday in his Jefferson, Texas home. Berryman, 28, had multiple gunshot wounds to the chest when family members discovered his body. The police are ruling it a homicide right now, although no arrests have been made.
Jefferson Police Department chief of police Joe C. Hall told reporters, “We don’t have just a whole lot of information right now to go on. So, we’re trying to keep as many of the details as possible close to us so that if and when we have people to interview and talk about this, we want to make sure that when they give us information, it’s something that’s relevant to the situation and not just something they heard or that they think.”
Jason Berryman, who is from the Houston area, was a standout freshman with the 2003 Iowa State Cyclones football team. The Big 12 named him the Defensive Newcomer of the Year after his fantastic rookie campaign. But his celebration was short lived after pleading guilty to first-degree theft and assault causing bodily injury. His sophomore season was a wash.
Determined to keep playing, Berryman bounced back in 2005 to lead the Cyclones to the Houston Bowl, where they were defeated by TCU. After being dismissed by then head coach Dan McCarney, Berryman was signed to a contract by the Cincinnati Bengals, though he never played a snap in the NFL.
McCarney said about the dismissal, “A number of individuals on this campus made a commitment to give Jason a second chance, both academically and athletically. As part of that agreement, we established some behavioral standards for him as a condition for returning to our program and representing Iowa State University. Jason has made progress in maturing as a young man, but he has not fully met the expectations that we jointly established. As a result – although we’ll continue to offer him academic support – he will no longer represent Iowa State University athletically.”
Though he was obviously a troubled student athlete, many friends and former teammates shared their condolences on Twitter.