HOUSTON (AP) – A Rice University freshman football player died Monday, a day after collapsing during a light workout.

Dale Lloyd, a 19-year-old defensive back, collapsed on the field about 5 p.m. Sunday but was conscious when taken to a hospital by ambulance. He died about 9 a.m. Monday, school officials said.

“I just can’t describe the pain we’re feeling right now and the shock,” Rice athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “It will take a long time to digest. The coaches are crushed. This is a tough time for all of us.”

Del Conte said Lloyd collapsed while the team was doing some light running. Although he didn’t complain of anything specific, he told team trainers he didn’t feel right.

“No one knows what happened,” Del Conte said. “It’s a mystery.”

An autopsy was pending.

Coaches met with the team Monday afternoon to talk about Lloyd’s death.

“He was a tremendous student who happened to play football,” Del Conte said, fighting back tears. “His smile just lit up the room.”

Lloyd played in Rice’s season opener against Houston but didn’t play the last three games. The team planned to redshirt him.

Rice is scheduled to travel to face Army on Saturday. Del Conte said he hasn’t made a decision on the status of that game.

“The Rice Owl family has suffered a devastating loss,” Rice coach Todd Graham said in a statement. “Dale was a tremendous person with the heart of a champion.”

Lloyd played football and baseball at Houston’s Lamar High School, was selected to the Who’s Who Among American High School Students and volunteered with the Mayor’s Youth Council.

He is survived by his parents, Dale and Abitibi Lloyd, and two brothers.

AP-ES-09-25-06 1612EDT


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