Heart disease killed Arkansas football player, coroner says

Garrett Uekman, a University of Arkansas tight end, died Sunday after he collapsed in his dorm room.

Story highlights

  • Sophomore Garrett Uekman's heart was enlarged, autopsy shows
  • The 19-year-old Razorback tight end collapsed in his dorm room Sunday
  • Uekman "was living his dream," his parents say
The death of a 19-year-old University of Arkansas football player Sunday was caused by heart disease, a preliminary coroner's report said Tuesday.
The autopsy revealed Garrett Uekman, a sophomore tight end for the Razorbacks, suffered from cardiomyopathy, a disease that weakens and enlarges the heart, Washington County, Arkansas, Coroner Roger Morris said.
Toxicology tests showed no signs of drug use, Morris said.
Uekman was found unconscious and unresponsive in his dorm room about 11:15 a.m. Sunday, the university said in a written statement. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after noon.
A roommate saw Uekman playing video games about an hour earlier, "and he appeared to be in good health," the university said.
Uekman, of Little Rock, "was living his dream of going to the U of A and playing football for the Razorbacks," parents Danny and Michelle Uekman said in a statement released through the school. He appeared in nine games for the 10-1 Arkansas squad this season.