18-year-old Mississippi State football player dead

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Mississippi State freshman offensive lineman Sam Westmoreland has died at the age of 18, the school announced Wednesday.

The school did not provide details in announcing the death of Westmoreland, an industrial technology major from Tupelo who would have turned 19 on Friday. Oktibbeha County coroner Michael Hunt told The Associated Press Wednesday night that foul play is not suspected but did not provide further details. The school said in a news release that it was working with the athletic department, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office and the coroner’s office to determine facts of the death and would not comment further.

Messages left with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Westmoreland was listed on the roster for the Bulldogs’ Southeastern Conference game Saturday at No. 6 Alabama. He had not played this season, according to the game notes.

MSU coach Mike Leach said in the news release that the athletics family was heartbroken by Westmoreland’s death, which he called sudden.

“Sam was a beloved son, brother and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future,” Leach said. “He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him. Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time.”