Oregon State freshman defensive tackle Fred Thompson died Wednesday night of a heart attack, sending shock waves around the university’s campus and through the Beavers’ football program. The 6′ 4”, 317-pound athlete was playing pick-up basketball at the time of his collapse.

Kyle Gardner, a freshman and teammate of Thompson’s, had this to say about his deceased friend:

“Everybody on the team loved him… He was just one of those guys that was always just smiling and joking around with you. It’s sad. We just don’t know what to think. I just think everyone is in shock.”

After sitting out with a shoulder injury last year, Thompson enrolled at Oregon State this fall and was considered to be a greyshirt. Team coach Mike Riley was expected to use Thompson as an anchor to the interior of the defensive line for the Beavers next year.

Thompson would have turned 20 on Sunday.


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