Portland State football player’s death shocks community – kgw.com
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PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland State University football player who was found dead in his apartment may have died of a drug overdose, Portland police said.
Kyle Smith, who had been a starter on the Vikings squad the past three seasons, died Wednesday evening.
Police said they were investigating Smith’s death as a potential overdose after they found evidence at the scene.
Toxicology results from the medical examiner’s office are not expected for several weeks, police said.
“It’s odd to hear a football player overdosed, it’s such a clean college,” said Angie Gillis, a neighbor of Smith’s.
The Vikings team had a spring football workout planned for Thursday that was canceled. A scrimmage is planned for Friday, but no schedule changes for that have been announced yet.
“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. Right now we have two concerns, Kyle’s family and our football players,” said Vikings Head Coach Bruce Barnum. “The program is being tested but we will come out of this on top.”
Rest in peace Kyle smith. Man my real locker room buddy. A real true character guy. God really has a true soldier. #hurt
— Demetrius Jackson (@d_jacc) April 14, 2016
Smith, 22, had been a starter on the team’s offensive line since the 2013 season and was named to the Big Sky All-Conference second team this season. He was a native of Elmira, Ore., where he starred on both the football and wrestling teams.
He was a towering presence not only the football field but on campus as well. Smith’s death, which led to an outpouring on social media by PSU players and fans, was first reported Thursday by the Portland Tribune.
“We’re Viking strong so they’ll do everything to make him proud and teammates proud as well,” said Mike O’Brien, a student at Portland State.
Smith was the second PSU football player to die this year.
In January, AJ Schlatter, a Canby native and a starting linebacker, died following complications from tonsil surgery.