There's some truly terrible news out of Ruston today: Louisiana Tech running back Tyrone Duplessis was found dead in his apartment early Thursday morning. He was 21 years old.
A redshirt sophomore and New Orleans native, Duplessis had 70 carries for 277 yards in nine games as a true freshman. He redshirted the 2010 season with a torn ACL and recorded carries in just two games last season.
According to a university report, emergency personnel were summoned to Duplessis' residence around 5 a.m. Thursday after he woke with "severe chest pains." No official cause of death has been determined, although initial toxicology reports have come back negative. Autopsy results will likely be released Friday.
Duplessis' teammates were informed of his passing in a Thursday team meeting. His head coach, Sonny Dykes, has released a statement, saying: “Tyrone was a valuable part of this football family. This is a tragic, senseless loss but he will make a lasting impact on this team, university and everyone that knew him.”
Said Louisiana Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau: “We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tyrone Duplessis this morning. Tyrone was not only a valuable member of our football program, but much more importantly, he was a valued member of the Tech Family. This is a painful loss for our campus community and our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.”
Said Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tyrone and his family. Tyrone was a special young man who was loved and respected by the Tech Family. He will be dearly missed, but I am sure his teammates and friends will honor and remember him through their commitment to fulfilling their potential.”
Duplessis is survived by his parents and two siblings. Memorial arrangements are still pending, according to school officials. The school will conduct a press conference with Coach Dykes Friday; no live stream is planned but audio recordings will be made available on Louisiana Tech's media website. Our sincere condolences and best wishes to the Duplessis family and the Louisiana Tech football community.