Tennessee State football player dies after collapsing at practice

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

William Wayne Jones III was a freshman defensive back for the Tigers.

Tennessee State freshman defensive back William Wayne Jones III collapsed at practice Wednesday and was later pronounced dead, according to the Associated Press.

Jones, 19, collapsed at around 4 p.m. He had caught a ball and was throwing it back to defensive back coach Ed Sanders when he fell to the ground. When trainers got to Jones, he did not have a pulse.

"This is a very tragic day for our entire Tennessee State University community and we are devastated by the sudden passing of this young man," athletic director Teresa Phillips said in a released statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time. Our University and our football team are hurting as we feel the loss of one of our own. As a team and a family we will grieve alongside the family and do everything we can to help support the family through this very difficult time."

He was taken to Baptist Hospital and was declared dead at 6:50 p.m. ET.

Jones was a walk-on from Smyrna, Tenn. He was a redshirt this season.

The Tigers have an open date this weekend. Tennessee State's next game is at Tennessee-Martin on Nov. 17.

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