Jaylon Ferguson, a Baltimore Ravens defensive end who holds the NCAA‘s FBS record for career sacks, has passed away at the age of 26. The cause of death is not known at this time.
“We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,” the Ravens said in a graphic posted on social media. “He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and an infectious personality.”
Baltimore selected Ferguson with the 85th overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In 38 games – 10 starts – over his first three seasons, he recorded 67 total tackles – including 13 for loss – with 4.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hits.
Ferguson attended LA Tech for college, where he recorded 45 career sacks as a four-year starter for the Bulldogs. The 45 sacks in 50 games passed Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs as the NCAA’s all-time FBS career sack leader. He also had 187 total tackles – including 67.5 for loss – and seven forced fumbles in college.
Ferguson Was Respected On and Off the Field
Jaylon Ferguson’s story is highlighted in this feature article from 2019 by The Patriot-News’ Aaron Kasinitz. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college. He had two children – a son and a daughter – under the age of five.
“When I’m off the field, I’m just really, really calm. I don’t see no reason to be riled up all the time,” Ferguson told Kasinitz. “On the field, I got people I can’t let down. That’s how I work. That’s how I eat. And I’ve got my kids now, so I’m not going to let nothing stop me from eating.”
This is the second incident of a star athlete’s sudden passing in the past 24 hours. Just yesterday, Caleb Swanigan, former Purdue basketball star and first-round NBA draft pick, died at the age of 25.