Furman football player Bryce Stanfield died on Friday, two days after he suffered a medical emergency during a Wednesday morning workout at the team’s Paladin Stadium. He was 21 years old.
The junior defensive tackle and three-year letterman died while “surrounded by his family and his Furman family,” university President Elizabeth Davis wrote in a letter to the community.
He was taken to a hospital and placed on life support after collapsing during the training session, Davis said. Stanfield’s coaches told Fox Carolina that his participation in workouts was limited by a back strain he sustained before practices started up. They reportedly had the defensive tackle undergoing rehabilitation for the injury and were unaware of any other medical issues.
Furman coach Clay Hendrix issued a statement about Stanfield on Friday.
“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,” Hendrix said. “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.”
Arriving to Furman via Acworth, Georgia, Stanfield was studying health sciences with plans to attend dental school following graduation. He was conferred his Bachelor of Science degree with magna cum laude honors during a Friday ceremony attended by his family, teammates and coaches, according to the university’s release.
Stanfield played in all 13 of Furman’s games this past season, recording 13 total tackles, four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He helped the Paladins to a 10-3 record and the 2023 Southern Conference championship title.
The Southern Conference and Furman senior running back Dominic Roberto issued social media memorial posts to honor Stanfield on Friday.
Please pray for the Stanfield family🙏🏾 Go hug your loved ones and don’t be afraid to say I love you! Bryce was a one of a kind teammate, man, and brother…we’ll never forget your impact bro❤️ Until we meet again🕊️ #StanfieldStrong https://t.co/b6oxvbRGnD
— Dominic Roberto (@dominicroberto_) February 9, 2024
In addition to his contributions on the field, Stanfield was named to the 2023 SoCon Fall All-Academic Team and served in Furman’s Heller Service Corps Men of Distinction. Additionally, the university said he volunteered his time to visit patients at Greenville Children’s Hospital and enjoyed reading to children in local schools.