The University of Minnesota is confirming the death of 22-year-old senior linebacker Gary Tinsely.
According to FOX9 News, police and paramedics responded to a call of an unresponsive student at the University Ave. dorm early Friday morning. First responders tried to resuscitate Tinsley, but he was pronounced dead just before 8am.
“It’s a very, very sad day for our football program and our young men. We lost one of ours today in Gary Tinsley, who I know is in a good place,” Gophers coach Jerry Kill said in an early afternoon news conference. “Gary is a young man that has done everything I asked him to do since the day I walked in this door.”
While Tinsley’s cause of death wasn’t immediately released as authorities awaited autopsy results from the medical examiner, University spokesman Chuck Tombarge said police were not aware of any pre-existing medical conditions and suspected no foul play.
“Really at this point we’re waiting for the M.E. to tell us what they found because we have no evidence of a crime, but we’re not closing the books in any respect,” Tombarge explained.
Tinsley, who was from Jacksonville, Florida, completed his eligibility at the end of the 2011 season. He played in 44 games during his Gopher career. He was No. 2 in total tackles with 87 stops last season. He compiled 198 total tackles over his career.
ESPN writes that Tinsley participated in a Gophers pro day workout last month with hopes of being selected in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The University of Minnesota athletic department scheduled a Friday afternoon news conference with coach Jerry Kill, senior quarterback MarQueis Gray and university Police Chief Greg Hestness.
Fox9 News has more on the tragic death of Gary Tinsley in the video clip below: