Tragedy struck the Rice community as roommates found Blain Padgett dead in his apartment Friday. Officials have yet to announce the cause of death.
Padgett, heading into his senior season, was a favorite among his coaches and peers. Former Rice head coach David Bailiff said of Padgett, "I would want my sons to have his work ethic and approach to life."
Padgett, who came to Rice from Hardin Jefferson High School near Beaumont, was a member of the CUSA Commissioner's Honor Roll in 2016 and 2017. Rice linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee said of Padgett, "He really gave his all in everything he did and was the guy that if you weren't giving yours wouldn't hesitate to call you out on it. Off the field, he was an easygoing guy. If you needed help with something and he could help, he would."
Padgett came from a sporting family. His parents Mical and Wyndi Padgett saw three kids come through Hardin Jefferson and two of Blain's cousins were in school there at the same time. All were talented athletes and scholars.
Prayers go out to Padgett's family and friends. More on his passing as news becomes available.
Rest Easy Big #90.
Update: Sunday March 4
ABC 13 in Houston is now reporting that while the cause of death is still unknown, indicators are that Padgett died in his sleep.
Rice coach Mike Bloomgren postponed spring practice until after the Owl's spring break so that players can have more time to deal with the loss.