Texas LB Jake Ehlinger Found Dead, Death Not Considered Suspicious

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Apr 24, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns Orange linebacker, and brother of former Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger, Jake Ehlinger during the fourth quarter of the Orange-White Texas Spring Game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger was found dead off campus Thursday, according to Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, who reports Austin police confirmed his death. Ehlinger was the younger brother of former Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who was selected by the Colts in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday. 

The program later confirmed his passing. 

Police say they received a call about an incident at 12:18 p.m. The younger Ehlinger was found shortly after on the 1200 block of West 22nd Street. No cause of death or other details were given, but police said the death is not considered suspicious. 

"Our hearts are truly broken and we are just devastated today to learn of the passing of our Longhorn family member Jake Ehlinger," Texas AD Chris Del Conte said in a statement. "Jake was an amazing young man from an extraordinary family with such a bright future ahead of him. It’s just such a tragedy that we are all really struggling with. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones and friends, especially the Ehlinger family and our entire football program. Jake’s family — Sam, Jena and Morgen — are such vital parts of our Longhorn family, and we will be here to support them in any and every way we can during this very difficult time. 

"While the sense of pain and loss are deep, our focus at this time is on providing support to Jake’s family, our football student-athletes, coaches and staff, and everyone so greatly impacted by this in our athletics department. We have resources in place and grief counseling available as we help support everyone in our program. With that said, we sincerely hope that everyone will respect their privacy as we deal with this devastating news."

This is the second death in the last decade of an immediate family member the Ehlingers have faced. Jake and Sam's father, Ross, died unexpectedly during the 2013 “Escape from Alcatraz” triathlon in San Francisco. Race officials said the Austin attorney suffered a heart attack shortly after the start. 

Ehlinger walked on at Texas in 2019, and practiced alongside his brother. However, he did not receive any playing time during his two seasons with the Longhorns, and chose to redshirt the 2020 season. 

He was a two-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, earning the honors in fall 2019 and spring 2020. 

"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," head coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. "In the short time we were able to get to know him, he always was a joy to be around and gave everything he had in workouts, meetings, practice and in life. This is a tragedy beyond measure, and as I told the team today, in a time like this all we can do is open our hearts, pull together and do our best to provide love and support to each other, especially to the Ehlinger family.”