BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California football player Ted Agu died Friday morning at age 21 after collapsing during a training run with his teammates.
"This is one of those tragedies that no one can understand and comprehend," an emotional coach Sonny Dykes said at a news conference hours after the death.
"Ted was a very special young man. As a coach, you have the opportunity to be around a lot of special kids day in and day out. He was a special young man. He just had a passion and energy for life that's contagious. He will be deeply missed. Our players loved him dearly and he was a big part of our family."
Agu was on a training run near Memorial Stadium with his teammates early Friday morning that was supervised by multiple members of the team's medical staff.
Team physician Dr. Casey Batten said the medical staff saw he had difficulty completing the workout and he was transferred by cart about 150 yards to the stadium.
"He was on the back of the cart, he was talking, he was hydrating, he did not exhibit any labored breathing or other signs until he got to the north tunnel," Batten said.
He then collapsed when he got to the medical facility at the Simpson Center at the stadium around 7 a.m. and emergency medical personnel were alerted and Agu was given CPR. He was quickly taken to Alta Bates Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Batten said Agu never had any previous problems with workouts or practice during his time at Cal.
Agu's teammates were told of the death at an emotional team meeting Friday morning.
"They and we are devastated," athletic director Sandy Barbour said. "We lost an incredible young man. Our student athletes have lost a brother who they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with in the classroom, on the athletic fields and in this community. We are all hurting."
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