Matthew McConaughey Shares Support for Jake Ehlinger’s Family After the Texas Longhorns Linebacker’s Death

by Evan Reier

The world of college football, including Matthew McConaughey, is mourning the death of Jake Ehlinger after the Texas Longhorns player’s tragic death.

The linebacker was just 20 years old. Additionally, Austin Police Officers said that there were no signs of wrongdoing and there are no signs of foul play.

Further, Jake, who is the younger brother of former Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, spent two years with the Longhorns.

One of the most vocal and supportive names in the University of Texas community is Matthew McConaughey. The established actor teaches a class in Austin, and is also often seen at Texas sporting events. Famously, he even gives speeches to the school’s teams.

McConaughey took to social media on Friday, a day after Ehlinger’s death on May 6. As is often the case with McConaughey, he kept his words simple but meaningful.

“A bended knee, a bowed head, and Horns up for the Ehlinger Family.” Matthew McConaughey wrote.

There’s no doubt that, like the rest of the Longhorn community, the death hits close to home. Sam and Jake were prominent parts of the team over the past few years. Sam was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of this year’s NFL draft after a successful college career. Jake did not see any playing time the past two years, however, he was considered a strong presence in the locker room and on campus.

Alongside Matthew McConaughey, Texas Athletics Mourns

McConaughey’s ties to the University of Texas are deep. As a member of the staff and community, he especially understands what the department is going through. UT athletics director Chris Del Conte released a statement of mourning after the news.

“Our hearts are truly broken and we are just devastated today to learn of the passing of our Longhorn family member Jake Ehlinger,” Del Conte said to local NBC station KXAN. “Jake was an amazing young man from an extraordinary family with such a bright future ahead of him. It’s just such a tragedy that we are all really struggling with.” 

In addition to Del Conte, recently hired head coach Steve Sarkisian spoke on Ehlinger’s tragic death. Although the coach didn’t spend much time with the linebacker, he is seeing the impact of his passing.

“We have an extremely heavy heart with the news of the passing of our beloved teammate, friend and Longhorn family member Jake Ehlinger,” Sarkisian said. “Words cannot express the depth of our sadness and the huge void we are feeling, but above all else, our hearts pour out to Sam, Jena, Morgen and the entire Ehlinger family.”

Additionally, Sarkisian spoke on Ehlinger’s love for the program.

“Being a Longhorn meant everything to him,” Sarkisian also said. “And he truly embodied all that it means to be one. In the short time we were able to get to know him, he always was a joy to be around and gave everything he had in workouts, meetings, practice and in life.”