The rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma is a strong one. But so is the bond, as evidenced by former Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield's heartfelt message to Sam Ehlinger in the wake of the stunning death of Sam’s brother Jake.
Mayfield used Twitter to reach out to Sam, writing, “Prayers up for you and your family man, @sehlinger3. Extremely sorry for your loss. City of Austin is here for y’all.”
Jake Ehlinger, 20 and a Longhorns linebacker, was found dead this week by Austin police. The tragedy comes just days after Sam, the former Longhorns QB, was selected in the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
Mayfield, now a star with the Cleveland Browns, won the Heisman Trophy while playing quarterback at OU. He embodied the competitiveness between the two football programs, as did Sam.
The rivalry between Mayfield and Ehlinger goes even deeper, as the two QBs started for rival high schools within the city of Austin, Mayfield going to Lake Travis and the Ehlinger brothers attending Westlake.
This is of course a time for the Longhorns family to bond, as UT coach Steve Sarkisian points out when he said, “We have an extremely heavy heart with the news of the passing of our beloved teammate, friend, and Longhorn family member Jake Ehlinger," Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. "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.
"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. 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.
But it’s also a time to search for ways to heal from beating the Longhorns family - as a former Sooners star is demonstrating.
LonghornsCountry.com will continue covering this story while extending our thoughts and prayers to the Ehlinger family.
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