OSU football player died of enlarged heart

OSU football player died of enlarged heart


by Michael Rollins

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews


Posted on December 8, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 9 at 1:59 PM

CORVALLIS -- A 19-year-old Oregon State University freshman football player Fred Thompson from Richmond, Calif., died Wednesday from an enlarged heart condition.

Athletics spokesman Steve Fenk said Thompson was playing basketball at the Dixon Recreation Center on the Corvallis campus when he collapsed. He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy showed Thompson died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -- an enlarged heart.

During strenuous exercise, the increased thickness of the heart muscle can lead to cardiac arrhythmia, doctors said.

"Some people may not even realize they have the condition until it is found in a routine medical examination," Oregon Dr. Karen Gunson said.

Thompson was a defensive tackle. Coming out of high school, he was rated as three-star defensive tackle by Rivals.com and a top 100 California prospect.

Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer posted on Twitter: "R.I.P. Fred I'm really gonna miss you bro. My prayers go to you and your family."

"Haven't cried in a long time . . . R.I.P. to my bruh Fred Thompson," said basketball player Jared Cunningham.

Fellow teammate James Dockery tweeted "Man I'm just taken back right now! R.I.P. Fred..life is too short. My prayers to his family and all of #beavernation you will be missed."

Read about Thompson at rivals.com

The 6-foot-4, 317-pound player from Oakland Tech High would have turned 20 on Sunday.

He is the son of Freddy and Corrie Thompson and has two brothers. His player profile said he chose Oregon State for "the family vibe, nice campus and great academics." He was thinking of declaring business as a major.

An Oregon State release said head football coach Mike Riley was off-campus recruiting and was reported en route back to Corvallis.

The AP contributed to this report.