Former Grand Valley State quarterback Cullen Finnerty found dead

Search of wooded area near Baldwin, Michigan turns up body of Division II national champion quarterback.

Police have located the body of former Grand Valley State quarterback Cullen Finnerty, according to Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press. Finnerty, who called his wife Sunday and told her he was in danger while fishing on the Baldwin River in Lake County, Michigan, was found dead in a wooded area a half mile away from where he disappeared.

The finding ends a three-day search that included current Grand Valley State players. Officials did not yet know the cause of death, and there were no apparent signs of trauma or foul play. An autopsy will be performed.

Finnerty won three Division II national championships with the Lakers from 2003 to 2006, and his 51-4 record as a starter made him the NCAA's all-time winningest starting quarterback. As a senior in 2006, he was a first team All-American and runner up for the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II version of the Heisman.

His first title came under now-Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, while the second and third were under the tutelage of Kelly's current offensive coordinator, Chuck Martin. Kelly gave reporters his reaction Tuesday:

"It's very chilling. He led me to a national championship as a true freshman, and when I left Coach (Chuck) Martin took over and won two more national championships. My heart goes out to the family and his beautiful wife, we're just praying and hoping and sending all of our thoughts wishes to the family."

Finnerty went undrafted in 2007, but signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Ravens. He spent several months in 2008 with the Denver Broncos, and also played one season in Austria.

Finnerty, 30, was the father of two small children.

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