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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A University of Minnesota football player was found dead in a dorm room Friday morning, according to U officials.
The body of 22-year-old linebacker Gary Tinsley was found in Roy Wilkins Hall, a dorm which houses many student athletes.
Emergency responders tried to revive Tinsley, but were unsuccessful.
They say there are no signs of foul play, and the campus is not in any danger. The body was removed from the residence hall just before 11:30 a.m.
A source told WCCO that linebacker Gary Tinsley was on campus Thursday working out.
Tinsley, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., has been with the U football team since 2008. He has played in 44 games, and was second in total tackles during the team’s 2011 season with 87. He was set to graduate in May and had completed his eligibility with the Gophers football program, playing mostly at middle linebacker.
Coach Jerry Kill only had one year to get to know the linebacker, but Tinsley made an impression immediately.
“Gary is a young man that’s done everything I asked him to do since I walked in this door,” said Kill.
Quarterback MarQuies Gray can’t help but grieve the great player who spent the last four years on the field with him, but it’s the friendship he’s lost that hurts the most.
“Last night texting each other and today he’s gone. That’s God’s work,” said Gray.
Eric Kaler, the university’s president, said the school’s thoughts and prayers are with Tinsley’s family and friends.
“It is always difficult to lose a member of the University family,” Kaler said. “In addition, [Tinsley] was an important part of Gopher Athletics who was engaged in public service.”
On Friday night, students held a vigil for Tinsley. On the grass outside Wilkins Hall, they crowded together with candles in their hands and consoled one another as much as possible.
Some of Tinsley’s teammates took the lead in telling stories about him.
“We both was supposed to graduate May 10th. We were so happy about that man and it’s only a month away. It’s so hard, like I’m not here to I try to tell you not to be sad, but it’s hard, it’s real hard, like, being a player and knowing him,” said athlete Troy Stoudermire
Just like crowd, Tinsley’s father in Florida wants to know how the star athlete died.
Police say there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol found in Tinsley’s room.