Rice’s Blain Padgett found dead

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Rice Owls defensive end Blain Padgett has died, according to media reports. After missing a workout, he was found dead in his apartment on Friday.

The official cause of death has not been released yet. He was 21-years-old.

Rice Owls

Rice Owls

“Our team is devastated by this news,” first-year Owls head coach Mike Bloomgren said. “All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain’s family and his teammates in this very difficult period.”

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound redshirt junior had 3.5 sacks with the team. During the 2016 season, he led the defensive line with 41 tackles. He also had 5.5 tackles for a loss in 2016, 2.0 sacks and one fumble recovery.

He was limited to just three games last season. He had 10 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, and pass deflections.

“Our entire athletic department is in mourning over the loss of Blain Padgett,” Owls athletic director Joe Karlgaard said. “Blain was a great friend and teammate and the sense of loss is overwhelming to his teammates, his friends, but most importantly to his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers. We will do everything in our power to provide assistance to our student-athletes in this incredibly difficult time.”

The Owls are scheduled to open their spring drills on Monday. Now, they will have to do that, as they come together for one another to mourn Padgett’s death.

According to the Owls website, they will practice twice next week, before practicing on March 19th and then practice for a month, as they prepare for their Blue-Gray Spring game on Saturday, April 14th.

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