College football player dies after suffering head injury in fall

Outpouring of grief for Spencer Webb, 22, who died at a popular cliff-jumping area

Bevan Hurley
Friday 15 July 2022 15:17 BST
<p>University of Oregon tightend Spencer Webb died after suffering a head injury</p>

University of Oregon tightend Spencer Webb died after suffering a head injury

University of Oregon football player Spencer Webb died after striking his head on rocks near a popular cliff-jumping site, authorities say.

The 22-year-old star tight end was found unresponsive about 100 yards (91m) down a steep trail at Triangle Lake on Wednesday afternoon, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said in statement.

“There is no evidence of foul play and his death appears to be accidental,” the sheriff’s office said.

Triangle Lake and the nearby Lake Creek Falls are a popular destination for swimmers who navigate naturally formed rock slides by inner tube and swim in several swimming holes.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, the Lake Creek Falls area near Eugene, Oregon, where Mr Webb was found is popular with cliff jumpers.

Rock slides are a popular attraction at the Lake Creek Falls Recreation Site in Oregon, where Spencer Webb died

The circumstances around his death are unclear.

Friends, family, coaching staff and teammates paid tribute to Webb, who was due to begin his fifth football season at the University of Oregon later this year.

“So full of life in every moment of the day. Your smile and energy will be missed Spencer. I love you!” Oregon University head football coach Dan Lanning wrote on Twitter.

“Rest in paradise,” wrote Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.

“Our hearts go out to his family, teammates, and friends at such a difficult time,” the Oregon Football “Ducks” team tweeted.

Arik Armstead, a former Oregon defensive end who now plays for the San Francisco 49ers, wrote: “Great young man with a promising future gone too soon.”

Webb’s girlfriend Kelly Kay called him “my best friend my twin flame love of my life”.

“I’ve never loved anything as much as i love you,” she wrote on Instagram.

“You always put everybody else before yourself and I’ll try to hold the same kindness in my heart.”

Mr Webb was from Sacramento, California, and was raised by his aunt, uncle and grandparents before his older brother Cody became his legal guardian, according to a 2016 profile in the Sacramento Bee.

The player nicknamed “Spider” was a consensus four-star out of Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento.

During his four seasons at Oregon, Webb recorded 31 receptions, 296 yards, and four touchdowns. His first career touchdown was arguably his most famous play, a 20-yard catch over a defender on a ball thrown by Justin Herbert in the 2019 season opener against Auburn.

Webb was also a social media star. His TikTok account, where he often posted about his life and athletic achievements, had nearly 700,000 followers.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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