Family says University of Texas linebacker died of accidental overdose

Ehlinger’s accidental drug overdose caused by fentanyl, family says

FILE - In this April 24, 2021, file photo, Texas defenders Jake Ehlinger, left, and B.J. Foster, right, tackle Kayvontay Dixon (16) during the first half of the Orange and White spring scrimmage college football game in Austin, Texas. Ehlinger, the younger brother of former Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger, was found dead near campus Thursday, May 6, Austin police said. Officers found the 20-year-old Ehlinger after responding to a call at 12:18 p.m. Police did not detail how they found him but said the death is not considered suspicious. No cause of death was immediately released. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas, File) (Michael Thomas, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

AUSTIN, Texas – Former Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger, the younger brother of former Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger, died of a an accidental drug overdose caused by fentanyl, the family said Thursday.

Jake Ehlinger, 20, was found on May 6. No cause of death was immediately released and the family statement said they believe he ingested a dose of the prescription drug Xanax laced with toxic substances, including fentanyl.

“The spread of counterfeit pills is an ongoing and significant issue throughout our country, particularly in schools, colleges, and universities," the family said.

“As our family continues to process Jake’s death, we felt it was important to share these details with the hope that Jake will not have died in vain,” the statement continued. “We pray that sharing Jake’s story will help shed light on this problem and prevent other families from also tragically losing a loved one.”

Jake Ehlinger did not play in his two seasons at Texas after arriving as a walk-on from Austin’s Westlake High School. Sam Ehlinger was a sixth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts after a college career that saw him rank among Texas’ career passing leaders.

Ross Ehlinger, Sam and Jake’s father, died at age 46 in 2013 of an apparent heart attack while competing in a triathlon in San Francisco.