Former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Uchechukwu Nwaneri passed away Friday at his wife’s home in Indiana. He was 38 years old.
Nwaneri, who had driven up to Indiana from Georgia, was found unresponsive by his wife at 1 a.m. after apparently collapsing, according to West Lafayette police and Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello.
Costello said that the results of a Monday autopsy showed no signs of foul play. At the moment, investigators believe the former player might have suffered a heart attack. Though the results of the toxicology report have not yet come in, Costello added.
“Nwaneri’s parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria in 1973. His first name means ‘God’s wish,’” according to a September 2006 report from the Lafayette Journal & Courier.
Linebacker Darryl Sharpton #51 of the Houston Texans is knocked backward by Uche Nwaneri #77 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium on October 30, 2011, in Houston, Texas. Sharpton suffered a torn quadricep muscle on the play and had to leave on a cart. Houston won 24-14. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
After his college years as a Purdue Boilermaker, Nwaneri became a 5th-round selection of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007. He played all seven years of his NFL career in Jacksonville, missing only one game in his final six years.
After the NFL, Nwaneri began a lineman-focused YouTube channel called The Observant Lineman.