Apr 24, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger walks off the field after the Orange-White Texas Spring Game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

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Family says Jake Ehlinger died of accidental overdose

The family of late Texas Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger said Thursday he died of an accidental overdose on May 6 of what was said to be Xanax laced with fentanyl.

The younger brother of former Longhorns and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger was found dead at age 20 in Austin, Texas.

“Today we are sad to share that we have learned that Jake was a victim of an accidental overdose of what was believed to be Xanax laced with toxic drugs including deadly Fentanyl,” the family said in its statement. “The spread of counterfeit pills is an ongoing and significant issue throughout our country, particularly in schools, colleges, and universities.

“As our family continues to process Jake’s death, we felt it was important to share these details with the hope that Jake will not have died in vain. We pray that sharing Jake’s story will help shed light on this problem and prevent other families from also tragically losing a loved one.”

The younger Ehlinger had finished his redshirt freshman season before his death, although he did not see game action.

“Being a Longhorn meant everything to him, and he truly embodied all that it means to be one,” said Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian in May. “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.”

Ross Ehlinger, Sam and Jake’s father, died at age 46 in 2013 after suffering a heart attack during a triathlon in San Francisco.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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