Mississippi State Offensive Lineman Passes Away
Mississippi State University announced the death of Samuel Westmoreland at the age 18 on Wednesday morning. Westmoreland was a freshman student-athlete from Tupelo, Mississippi.
Westmoreland was an offensive linemen for the Bulldogs. He was majoring in industrial technology.
MSU Athletics released the following statement:
"Mississippi State University was deeply saddened to learn of the death this morning of freshman student-athlete Samuel Westmoreland, 18, of Tupelo, Mississippi. Westmoreland, a Tupelo High School graduate, was an offensive lineman for the MSU Bulldog football team and an industrial technology major."
"One of the most profound lessons I've learned while leading this great university is that the tragic loss of one of our students diminishes all of our students--and all of us at Mississippi State feel the impact of Sam Westmoreland's death," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "My prayers are with Sam's family and friends, and with his MSU teammates and coaches, and with the Tupelo community during this most difficult time."
MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen also released a statement on Wednesday.
"We are heartbroken by the sudden loss of Sam Westmoreland. Mississippi State is a family, and we are all mourning during this trying time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Westmoreland family and everyone who knew and loved Sam."
MSU head coach Mike Leach adds that the Mississippi State athletic family is "heartbroken by the sudden death." He was a "beloved son, brother, and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future."
The university is working with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office, the Oktibbeha County Coroner's Office, the MSU Division of Student Affairs, and the MSU Athletics Department to determine the cause of his death.
No foul play was suspected. According to WCBI, Westmoreland was found at Blackjack Church in Oktibbeha County.
The university adds that student counseling services are available five days a week.