Sooner Linebacker Austin Box Dead At Age 22

ARLINGTON TX - DECEMBER 04: Linebacker Austin Box #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates a 23-20 win against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the Big 12 Championship at Cowboys Stadium on December 4 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

"We're all shocked and heartbroken. Austin was a great young man, a great young man to coach and a great teammate. He played an integral part in our success the last three years and was looking forward to a big senior year. As heart-wrenching as this is for us, we know it's even more difficult for his family. More than anything, our thoughts and prayers are with them." - Bob Stoops

Sources have confirmed to me that starting middle linebacker Austin Box has passed away. Box was found unresponsive at what is being reported to be his home in El Reno. He was rushed by ambulance to a local El Reno hospital and then flown to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Tragic, tragic day for the Oklahoma football program and the entire Sooner Nation.  

UPDATE:

* SBN's Holly Anderson has done a great job of covering the probable cause of his death. While its information I had received earlier in the day I didn't feel Crimson And Cream Machine was the place to publish that information today. 

* The Oklahoman's Jake Trotter has a very detailed and respectful piece on the tragic death of Austin Box. 

* A Guest Book has been posted online by The Oklahoman for fans to sign in honor of Box 

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