UPDATED: Arkansas freshman football player Garrett Uekman dies at 19

Freshman tight end Garrett Uekman was a redshirt freshman on the Arkansas Razorback football team, where he had played in nine games this season.

Update: According to reports, Washington County coroner Roger Morris says Uekman’s cause of death was a previously undetected heart condition called cardiomyopathy, which is an enlarged heart. Uekman’s toxic screen was negative. Sources: (KFSM, KHBS, KNWA)

The University of Arkansas community is mourning the loss of Razorback football freshman tight end Garrett Uekman.

According to UA officials, Uekman, 19, was found unconscious and unresponsive in his room on the UA campus at approximately 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20. Emergency medical crews were called, but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville on Sunday afternoon.

UA press conference

University Police Lt. Matt Mills said that the cause of Uekman’s death is not known at this time, but there are no suspicious circumstances.

Uekman was last seen playing video games by a roommate at about 10:15 a.m. and appeared to be in good health. Another roommate found him unconscious about an hour later.

Uekman (pronounced Eck-man), was a graduate of Little Rock Catholic High School and was a sophomore at the UA majoring in applied exercise science. He was a redshirt freshman on the Arkansas Razorback football team, where he had played in nine games this season.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, but a candlelight vigil to honor Uekman is set for 8 p.m. Monday at Bud Walton Arena.

Candlelight Memorial Service for Garrett Uekman

When: 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21
Where: Bud Walton Arena
Speakers: Michael Dodd, ASG president; Chancellor G. David Gearhart; Bobby Petrino, head football coach; Austin Tate, class of 2013; Father Joseph Marconi; Danny Pugh, dean of students and vice provost for student affairs; Father John Antony.
Parking: Free parking is available in Lots 56, 56B, 56D, 60.
Entry: Members of the public will be able to enter through the south side doors of Walton Arena beginning at 7 p.m.
Signs/candles: Signs and placards will not be permitted in the arena. Candles will be provided.


Jeff Long, Arkansas directory of athletics
“Garrett’s loss is a terrible shock for the University of Arkansas and the Razorback program. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and to all of those who knew him. He will be missed by many friends, teammates and others throughout campus. The well-being of our student-athletes is at the very core of our mission and when a tragedy like this happens it is a tremendous loss to the entire campus community.”

Bobby Petrino, Arkansas head football coach
“Garrett Uekman was a special member of our family, and we are all saddened by his passing. His loss is a terrible shock, and it makes you realize how precious life is. Garrett was a great teammate and loved being a Razorback. My sympathies are with his entire family during this incredibly trying time, and I share in their grief. Our team will honor and show our respect to Garrett.

Danny and Michelle Uekman, Garrett’s parents
“Our son was living his dream of going to the U of A and playing football for the Razorbacks. He loved his school, his coaches, and his teammates and classmates, and was an influence and inspiration to so many people. We ask for your love and prayers for Garrett, our family and his friends as we all cope with this heavy and painful loss. Meanwhile, we ask for respect and privacy during this time of grief.”

Zach Hocker, Arkansas kicker (via Twitter)
“Today, I lost a roommate, a very close friend, and a brother in Garrett Uekman. Thoughts and prayers to the Uekman family. Love ya 88.”

Knile Davis, Arkansas running back (via Twitter)
“Garrett Uekman rest in peace my brother. Watch over us as we continue to chase the dream u started with us. I love u and will forever miss u.”

Grant Cook, Arkansas guard (via Twitter)
RIP Garrett.. I am thankful for the opportunity to have you in my life! I will always remember the times we had together. I love you buddy!