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21-Year-Old Furman Football Player Dies Two Days After Collapsing During Workout

21-year-old-furman-football-player-dies-two-days-after-collapsing-during-workout
21-Year-Old Furman Football Player Dies Two Days After Collapsing During Workout
Photo: Furman University

The Furman University community is mourning following the announcement that Bryce Stanfield, a junior defensive tackle for the Paladins football team, died on Friday.

His death came two days after he suffered a medical emergency during a workout at Paladin Stadium. He was 21 years old.

University President Elizabeth Davis conveyed the heartbreaking news in a letter to the community:

It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you that Furman University student Bryce Stanfield passed away this afternoon surrounded by his family and his Furman family. Bryce, a junior health sciences major from Acworth, Georgia, was a defensive tackle on the Paladins Football team. According to medical personnel, Bryce collapsed unexpectedly at a morning workout on Wednesday. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was placed on life support.

Bryce excelled in the classroom and had aspirations for dental school after Furman. He equally shined on the football field and was beloved by his teammates and coaches. He loved engaging local youth by serving in Heller’s Men of Distinction, as well as reading to children in local schools. His Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, was conferred this morning in a small private ceremony.

The university extends its heartfelt condolences to Bryce’s family and friends in this time of profound loss. The entire Furman community is deeply affected at times like these, and it’s important that we offer each other support and seek help if we need it.

We have connected with the football team and others who most closely knew Bryce to provide counseling and support. We will share information on funeral and memorial services as appropriate.

I would especially like to thank Coach Clay Hendrix, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Jason Donnelly and the staff in Athletics, Dean of Students Jason Cassidy and everyone in Student Life for their tireless acts of caring and compassion.

Please take a moment to remember Bryce’s life and all he brought to our community during his time at Furman. May all who knew him find peace and comfort during this difficult time.

According to Yahoo Sports, Bryce was hospitalized and placed on life support after collapsing during the Wednesday training session. His coaches stated that he had been dealing with a back strain.

Furman coach Clay Hendrix released a statement regarding the sudden loss of Stanfield  in a statement from the university.

“We are heartbroken beyond measure with Bryce’s sudden passing and ask that everyone, first and foremost, lift up his parents, Fred and Teri Stanfield, and their family, in prayer on this day and in the days ahead,” said Furman head coach Clay Hendrix.

“There are so many more who are really hurting — namely Bryce’s teammates, coaches and staff, classmates, friends, and the entire Furman community and beyond,” Hendrix added.

“Bryce was an outstanding young man and an equally fine student, football player, and friend.  He was so much a part of who we are as a program and school, and was pivotal in our success on the football field and through giving of his time in outreach to our community. In every sense he was the best representative we could have.  His passing is one of the most difficult things Furman football has ever encountered, but our faith and so many wonderful memories Bryce provided us will help sustain us all in the days ahead.”

According to the university’s release, Stanfield, who is from Acworth, Georgia, was pursuing a degree in health sciences and had set his sights on dental school after his time at Furman. He was honored posthumously with a Bachelor of Science degree with magna cum laude honors in a private ceremony.

On the field, Stanfield was a key player for the Paladins, participating in all 13 games last season. He notched 13 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks, playing a vital role in Furman’s impressive 10-3 season and the capture of the 2023 Southern Conference championship title.

More from the release:

In addition to his football contribution, he served in Furman’s Heller Service Corps Men of Distinction and was an active participant in visiting patients at Greenville Children’s Hospital and in reading to children in local schools.

Stanfield was two-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll selection and was recently named to both the 2023 SoCon Fall All-Academic Team and College Sports Communicators Academic All-District squad.

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