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University of Texas Linebacker Jake Ehlinger Died from Accidental Overdose, Family Says

·2-min read
Valero Alamo Bowl - Texas v Colorado
Valero Alamo Bowl - Texas v Colorado

Tim Warner/Getty Jake Ehlinger

The family of Jake Ehlinger says the University of Texas Longhorns linebacker died in May from an accidental drug overdose.

Ehlinger, who was 20 when he died, is believed to have taken Xanax laced with "toxic" drugs such as Fentanyl, according to a statement obtained Thursday by the Austin-based station KVUE ABC and also issued to ESPN.

Now, the family is hoping to draw attention to "the spread of counterfeit pills" in the United States, which they suggest is a "significant issue" at places like schools, colleges, and universities.

RELATED: University of Texas Linebacker Jake Ehlinger, Younger Brother of the Colts' Sam Ehlinger, Found Dead

"As our family continues to process Jake's death, we felt it was important to share these details with the hope that Jake will not have died in vain," the Ehlingers stated. "We pray that sharing Jake's story will help shed light on this problem and prevent other families from also tragically losing a loved one."

The family also thanked those who reached out in wake of Ehlinger's death for their ongoing support.

jake ehlinger
jake ehlinger


"Our hearts are broken, and we are still grieving over the loss of our son and brother, Jake," they said. "We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support received since his untimely passing in May."

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Ehlinger played two seasons of football for the Longhorns prior to his death. He was the younger brother of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian previously called Ehlinger's death "a tragedy beyond measure."

"Jake was a tremendous person and was everything you could ask for in a student-athlete," Sarkisian said in a statement released in May, per ESPN. "Being a Longhorn meant everything to him, and he truly embodied all that it means to be one."

Valero Alamo Bowl - Texas v Colorado
Valero Alamo Bowl - Texas v Colorado

Tim Warner/Getty Jake Ehlinger

RELATED: Ex-Football Coach Plans to Sue Washington State University Over Firing Due to Refusing COVID Vaccine

UT Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said in a separate statement that he was "truly broken" and "devastated" by Ehlinger's death.

"Jake was an amazing young man from an extraordinary family with such a bright future ahead of him. It's just such a tragedy that we are all really struggling with," he said in a statement, via KVUE ABC.

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