SALT LAKE CITY — Utah running back Ty Jordan’s death on Christmas night was met with obvious shock. Jordan, who led the Utes with 119.4 yards per game this season, died in an accidental shooting in Denton, Texas. The Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year was 19-years-old.
“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 released by the university. “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.”
Mark Harlan, Utah’s director of athletics, also commented on the matter.
“We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of Ty Jordan’s passing early this morning and our thoughts and prayers are with those who loved him dearly, including the young men in our football program,” he said. “Our priority is on supporting his family and the student-athletes, coaches and staff in our football program who are so deeply hurting right now. Coach Whittingham and I are working closely to provide support and resources for our Utah football family in this extremely difficult time.”
Jordan topped the Utes with 723 all-purpose yards, 597 rushing yards, 83 carries, 7.2 yards per carry and 6 touchdowns.
Although just 5-foot-7 and 200 pounds, Jordan stood tall in Utah’s backfield. He became the first Utah freshman since Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala in 1995 to rush for 100 yards in three consecutive games. Jordan reached the mark in victories over Colorado (147), Oregon State (167) and Washington State (154 yards).
PHOTO: Courtesy of University of Utah athletics