Posted by Bryan Fischer
Tragic news out of Corvallis Wednesday night as Oregon State freshman defensive tackle Fred Thompson has died of an apparent heart attack.
The school confirmed the death of Thompson, who was to turn 20 on Sunday, with a release. According to officials, Thompson was playing basketball at the Dixon Recreation Center on campus when he collapsed. He was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis where he was later pronounced dead.
A 6-foot-4, 317-pound defensive tackle for the Beavers, Thompson had just enrolled for the winter semester and was expected to compete for a spot in the rotation in 2012 after redshirting. He is from Richmond, Calif. and played his prep ball at Oakland Tech High School.
Head coach Mike Riley was on the road recruiting when he first heard of the news and is making his way back to town. The school will hold a press conference to discuss the event on Thursday.
According to the Oregonian, news of Thompson's death has already produced reaction on Twitter from several of his teammates and the rest of the Oregon State community.
"Everybody on the team loved him," teammate Kyle Gardner told the Corvallis Gazette Times. "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."