Oregon State: Football player Fred Thompson dies

By The Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State defensive tackle Fred Thompson died Wednesday night after he collapsed while playing basketball at a campus recreation center.

Thompson, just four days shy of his 20th birthday, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis, where he was pronounced dead.

Thompson, 6-foot-4 and 317 pounds, was a true freshman from Richmond, Calif., who played at Oakland Tech High School.

He was part of the 2010 recruiting class but delayed his enrollment until this January. He spent this season recovering from shoulder surgery and was considered a grayshirt.

Coach Mike Riley was on a recruiting trip but was expected back at Oregon State on Thursday.

Some players gathered at Valley Football Center after word spread of Thompson’s death, and the front page of the Beavers’ website paid tribute to the young player.

Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer posted on Twitter: “R.I.P Fred Im really gonna miss you bro. My prayers go to you and your family.”

His team biography said Thompson chose Oregon State because of the “family vibe, nice campus and great academics.” It says he was contemplating majoring in business.