May 6, 2021
Dave WilsonESPN Staff Writer
- Dave Wilson is an editor for ESPN.com since 2010. He previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun.
Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger, the 20-year-old younger brother of former Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger, was found dead on Thursday, according to police in Austin, Texas.
The Austin Police Department said it received a call at 12:18 p.m. local time and responded to the 1200 block of West 22nd Street, a residential area just to the west of the Texas campus, and identified the individual as Jake Ehlinger, who was a redshirt sophomore.
No cause of death was released and police said the death was not considered suspicious.
The loss is another tragedy for the Ehlinger family. Sam and Jake’s father, Ross, died in 2013 during a triathlon in San Francisco from a heart attack at age 46. Both sons dreamed of playing for the Longhorns after growing up as season-ticket holders.
Only five days ago, Jake was celebrating with Sam, their sister, Morgen, and their mother, Jena, after Sam was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round.
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) May 7, 2021
Texas coach Steve Sarkisian called the death “a tragedy beyond measure.”
“Words cannot express the depth of our sadness and the huge void we are feeling, but above all else, our hearts pour out to Sam, Jena, Morgen and the entire Ehlinger family,” Sarkisian said in a statement. “Jake was a tremendous person and was everything you could ask for in a student-athlete. Being a Longhorn meant everything to him, and he truly embodied all that it means to be one.”
Jake played linebacker at Texas for two seasons. In 2019, Sam talked to reporters about running out of the tunnel with Jake in the brothers’ first game together at UT, versus Louisiana Tech.
“Unreal,” Sam said. “We’ve been dreaming about that our whole lives.”
Colts owner Jim Irsay offered his support in a statement.
“I know how close they were and we’re just really stunned, but we are prayerful and we know God has a plan,” Irsay said. “We are doing everything we can to console the family and do what we can to make things as easy as possible at this difficult time.”