O.J Murdock was just 25 years old.
Murdock was a wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans. A former all-State and Tampa Tribune Player of the Year in the state of Florida back in 2005 as a high school senior, the speedy pass catcher rose to prominence on the football field after excelling as predominantly a track and field athlete.
Tampa Police are said to have found his body outside of his former High School where he was found unconscious in his 2011 Dodge Charger. Murdock was suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
All this came just days after he was placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list by the Titans for failing to show up to camp. Titans reps told the media that he hadn't reported due to "family issues" and are quoted as saying that "some things had come up in his personal life that he needed to take care of".
Murdock spent the majority of last year on injured reserve after being signed by Tennessee as an undrafted free agent. Murdock played his collegiate football at South Carolina but off the field issues led him to finish his career at Division II Fort Hayes State. The receiver was set to contend for a spot on the 53 man roster for the Titans this year, contributing on special teams and as a back-up receiver.
This incident brings back memories of Plaxico Burress, who infamously shot himself with his own gun back in November of 2008. Luckily, Plaxico made a full recovery. Unfortunately the incident also brings back the very recent suicide of Charger great Junior Seau. It begs us to ask the question, does the violent game that we love so much have an adverse affect on the players, causing these kinds of incidents? What is the reason for so many NFL athletes to associate themselves with guns and violence?
The passing of someone so young and so talented is tragic, to say the least. Murdock had gone through so much, so young, but was on the right path. The Titans' wideout was turning his life around and was making a name for himself in his profession.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Titans organization at this deeply saddening time.