What we know about the death of Jake Ehlinger, the brother of Texas QB Sam Ehlinger
Former Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger's younger brother was found dead in Austin on May 6, police said.
Jake Ehlinger was just a few years younger than his older brother, who had recently been drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.
A cause of death in the case not been released by officials, but the family released a statement on the matter months later. Here's what we know about what happened and why the family is speaking out now:
Where was Jake Ehlinger found dead?
Police said Ehlinger was found dead in the 1200 block of West 22nd Street. The area is about two miles west of the University of Texas campus.
Both Jake and Sam Ehlinger were Longhorn football players
Jake joined the Longhorns in 2019 as a walk-on. A linebacker, he had not played a game for the team.
Like his brother, he attended Westlake High School. He was the teams' leading tackler in 2018 with 97 tackles, seven stops for a loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.
The boys grew up close with Jake following his brother's footsteps in playing football. In 2018, Jake said he texted or talked with his brother Sam on the phone daily.
“Sam taught me everything I know today,” he said. “He’s always been there for me and the whole family. Smart. Caring. He is the most incredible person, a good brother.”
Ehlinger family cited fentanyl in Jake's 'accidental overdose'
In a statement released on Oct. 21, the Ehlinger family shared that "Jake was a victim of an accidental overdose."
The family said it is believed a combination of Xanax and toxic drugs like fentanyl contributed to the event.
The Ehlingers said they continue to grieve the loss, but don't want his death to be vain.
"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."
Tragedy is not the first for Ehlinger family
In 2013, Sam and Jake's father's Ross Ehlinger suffered a heart attack after the start of a triathlon in California. The boys' father coached his sons' Pop Warner football teams when they were growing up.
In a Players Tribune video, Sam Ehlinger remembered his father.
"He was always very positive, very outgoing, very fun," Ehlinger said. "He definitely taught me everything that I knew about the game."