California football player Ted Agu died Friday morning at age 21 after collapsing during a training run with his teammates.
“This is a very difficult time for our football family,” head football coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “Ted was a remarkable young man and a member of this family who was highly respected and loved by his teammates and coaching staff. He had an incredible passion for life and will be deeply missed.”
Agu was on a training run near Memorial Stadium with his teammates early Friday morning that was supervised by multiple members of the team's medical staff.
Team physician Dr. Casey Batten said the medical staff saw he had difficulty completing the workout and he was transferred by cart about 150 yards to the stadium.
He then collapsed when he got to the medical facility at the Simpson Center at the stadium around 7 a.m. and emergency medical personnel were alerted and Agu was given CPR. He was quickly taken to Alta Bates Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Agu, a defensive lineman listed at 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, was from Bakersfield, Calif. He was going to be a fifth-year senior next season. He played seven games last season for Cal, recording six tackles. He played five games the previous two seasons.
In high school, Agu earned All-Southwest Yosemite League honors in his final two prep seasons, according to the Cal Bears website.
Athletics Director Sandy Barbour described Agu’s death as “painful time for the entire Cal family.”
“In the days and weeks ahead, my focus will be on providing every member of our community the support and information they need to get through this time,” Barbour said in a statement. “I would ask that media please respect and understand how this tragedy is impacting Ted’s family, his teammates, friends and the members of our campus community. We will get through this together.”
A medical examiner will determine the cause of death, a process that can take several weeks.
Batten said Agu never had any previous problems with workouts or practice during his time at Cal.
The school said it is providing counseling sessions for the other players.
Freshman defensive back Cameron Walker wrote on his Twitter account that he loved Agu and appreciated all he did to help ease his transition to college.
"You were a blessing to all of us and it hurts so bad to know that I'll never walk next to ur locker again and hear your voice speaking to me,'' Walker wrote. "You left too soon. But ur in a better place now & we all have another guardian angel watching over us. I love you, Ted. I miss you already. I'll never forget you, Pre-Med Ted. You and your family are in my prayers.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Below is an interview with Ted Agu from Cal University’s Cal TV: