Washington State defensive back Bryce Beekman died Tuesday night according to the Pullman Police Department. He was 22.
Per the Spokane Spokesman-Review, a cause of death was not immediately available. Beekman was the team’s fifth-leading tackler in 2019 and had 60 tackles. He started all 13 games for Washington State a season ago and was set to be a starter again in 2020.
Beekman enrolled at Washington State in January of 2019 after transferring from Arizona Western Junior College. He played the first three years of his high school career in Milwaukee before playing his senior season in Baton Rouge.
Per Washington State’s website, Beekman wore No. 26 with the Cougars in honor of former NFL All-Pro safety Sean Taylor.
New Washington State coach Nick Rolovich had a conference call with reporters on Tuesday and said that he thought a majority of his team’s players were not in Pullman. Classes are not in session at Washington State because of the coronavirus outbreak and spring practices have been indefinitely put on hold.
“I don’t think this is a time where football should really open their mouth too much as far as ‘poor me,’” Rolovich said on Tuesday. “I think when the time is right and the people making decisions feel the time is right, we’ll get back to it and when we get back to it we’ll attack it with everything we’ve got. But there’s zero part of me for not doing football in this situation. We wouldn’t have their full attention. They have family, these kids have got their own lives to live. I think it’s the best thing right now to be concentrating on them and academics and if we can get some football stuff done as we move forward, we will, but a lot of the time we would be spending on football is being spent on recruiting and the uncertainty of when this thing would open back up.”
This post will be updated with more information.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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