Smith second Portland State player to die this year

Publish date:

(STATS) - Portland State University is mourning the loss of football standout Kyle Smith, who died in his apartment near the campus Wednesday evening - the second death of a Vikings player this year.

Police said they are investigating the 22-year-old's death as a possible drug overdose. No arrests have been made.

Smith, a native of Elmira, Oregon, played left tackle and made 36 straight starts over the last three seasons. He was selected to the All-Big Sky Conference second team as a junior last year, when the Vikings finished 9-3 and qualified for the FCS playoffs for only the second time.

Another Portland State player, linebacker AJ Schlatter, died on Jan. 17 due to complications following throat surgery.

"I feel we have the most united, close-knit football team in America, and we just lost a major piece of that team in Kyle," Vikings head coach Bruce Barnum said. "Right now we have two concerns, Kyle's family and our football players. The program is being tested, but we will come out of this on top."

"Came in to PSU with my dawg smitty, feels like yesterday. Can't believe my guy is gone, I'm sending prayers up to the Smith family," teammate Paris Penn wrote on Twitter.

Portland State postponed Thursday's scheduled spring practice and held a team meeting.

Smith is survived by his parents, Matt and Angela Smith, a brother, Cody, and a sister, Julia.