(CNN) — Ty Jordan, a star freshman running back at the University of Utah, has died at age 19, the school announced Saturday.
Ty Jordan was named the Pac-12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year last week. The Mesquite, Texas, native rushed for 597 yards and scored six rushing touchdowns in a short five-game season for the Utah Utes.
No cause of death was provided.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham expressed the team’s deep discontent in a statement Saturday.
“Ty’s personality and smile rubbed off on and he had a huge impact on our show in the short time he was with us. He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, all members of the Utah soccer family want to tell you that we love you, Ty, and may you rest in peace. “
Whittingham also tweeted that he knew Ty Jordan would be a great player even before he stepped onto campus.
“He was a light, always with a smile on his face,” Whittingham wrote. “One of the humblest and most hard-working guys we’ve seen go through this show. We love you, Ty.
Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan said, “Our priority is to support his family and the student-athletes, coaches and staff of our football program who are suffering deeply right now.”
Last year, a photo of Ty Jordan and an opposing player went viral; it showed the two kneeling and praying after a high school football game.
CNN affiliate KXII reported that Jordan’s mother was battling cancer and senior Gage Smith asked to pray with Jordan after the final whistle sounded.
“When you are playing, you are playing to win and the other team is the enemy, but after that you have respect for the opponent,” Smith told KXII.
Jordan’s aunt took a photo of the moment in gratitude for the gesture, according to KXII, which was later widely shared on social media.
“Seeing him explode, I was very surprised and I didn’t expect it to be like that, I was just doing it for him and his mother and his family,” Smith said.
Ty Jordan revealed in a tweet in August that his mother passed away.
Utah teammates took to social media Saturday to pay tribute to Jordan.
“DEP my brother, I know you’re in a better place,” Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd wrote on Twitter.
“Wow! This hurts. DEP little brother #LLTJ, “said Utah running back Devin Brumfield.
Utah quarterback Jake Bentley said: “Rest in peace, Ty. I can’t believe you’re gone We are thankful that our lives have crossed. We will always miss you.