Rice Owls football player Blain Padgett dies

The Rice University head football coach Mike Bloomgren and director of athletics Joe Karlgaard each released statements on the death of Owls defensive end Blain Padgett.

“Our team is devastated by this news," said Bloomgren in his statement. "All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain’s family and his teammates in this very difficult period.”

“Our entire athletic department is in mourning over the loss of Blain Padgett," said Karlgaard in his statement. "Blain was a great friend and teammate and the sense of loss is overwhelming to his teammates, his friends, but most importantly to his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers. We will do everything in our power to provide assistance to our student-athletes in this incredibly difficult time.” 

"It's news that absolutely hits your heart and brings tears to your eyes," said former Owls head football Coach David Bailiff in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "You reflect back on the last conversations you had with him. The big gut hug he gave you when you walked out the door. Shocked, saddened."

"Can't imagine what his parents and sister are going through because they're such a close family," added Bailiff. "Great kid, great player, team leader who influenced everyone around him. He would have played at the next level."