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Mississippi State University freshman football player Sam Westmoreland dies

The offensive lineman was a graduate of Tupelo High School and an industrial technology major.
Credit: Mississippi State University Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss — Mississippi State University freshman football player Sam Westmoreland died suddenly Wednesday morning, according to a statement from the university.

Westmoreland, who was set to turn 19 on Friday, was an offensive lineman from Tupelo. He was a Tupelo High School graduate and an industrial technology major.

"The Mississippi State Athletics Family is heartbroken by the sudden death of Sam Westmoreland," Head Football Coach Mike Leach said. "Sam was a beloved son, brother and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future. He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him. The entire MSU Family mourns as our thoughts and prayers go out to the Westmoreland family. Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time." 

Westmoreland's cause of death wasn't clear. 

The university said it's cooperating 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 facts of the incident.

According to the university, counseling services are available five days a week from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. More information is available online or by calling 662-325-2091.

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