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University of Utah creates memorial scholarship in honor of Texas native Ty Jordan

Head Coach Kyle Whittingham and his wife Jamie donated $100,000 to the scholarship fund.
Credit: AP
Utah running back Ty Jordan (22) runs for a score as he eludes a tackle by Washington State linebacker Jahad Woods (13) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The University of Utah Athletics Department is honoring a former football player who died by establishing a memorial scholarship in his name. 

Mesquite native Ty Jordan, 19, who was a running back for the Utah Utes, died Christmas night in Denton.

A preliminary investigation indicated Jordan's death appeared to be an accidental, self-inflicted shooting, police said.

He died less than a week after finishing a standout freshman season with the Utah Utes. Jordan had earned the Pac-12's Offensive Freshman of the Year award by a vote of the league's coaches and was named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press. 

The university announced The Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship Tuesday morning on its website. 

Head Coach Kyle Whittingham and his wife Jamie have already donated $100,000 to the scholarship fund.

The scholarship will be awarded to a student football player who exemplifies the inspiring qualities that Jordan displayed through his work ethic, positivity, and perseverance through adversity, the school said.

Despite Jordan's personal success within the football program, the team said Jordan always gave the credit to others. 

"Through it all, Jordan remained humble when speaking publicly, deferring credit to his teammates and coaches, and frequently expressing his desire to make his mother proud in the way he was fulfilling his dream to play college sports," the university said in a statement.

Jordan's mother died from cancer in August 2020. 

"The thing we loved about Ty wasn’t the speed or the athletic ability and all those types of things, it was his heart and how big it was," said Jeff Neill, who coached Jordan while at West Mesquite High School. 

Anyone wishing to donate to the scholarship can click here.