Ravens exterior linebacker Jaylon Ferguson died after authorities discovered him unresponsive late Tuesday in a North Baltimore dwelling. He was 26.
Officers haven’t launched a reason for loss of life, however Baltimore Police mentioned Wednesday that investigators haven’t dominated out the opportunity of an overdose.
“We’re profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,” the Ravens mentioned in a press release Wednesday. “He was a form, respectful younger man with an enormous smile and infectious persona. We specific our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s household and pals as we mourn a life misplaced a lot too quickly.”
Baltimore Police mentioned Northern District officers responded at about 11:25 p.m. Tuesday to studies of a questionable loss of life at a house within the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue in Baltimore’s Harwood neighborhood. There, police discovered Ferguson unresponsive and receiving therapy from medics.
“Ferguson by no means regained consciousness and was pronounced lifeless on the scene by medics,” Baltimore Police spokeswoman Niki Fennoy mentioned in a press release.
Police mentioned there have been no indicators of trauma or foul play. They mentioned the medical expert will decide a reason for loss of life.
Ferguson was getting into his fourth NFL season in Baltimore. He appeared leaner and extra explosive on the Ravens’ three-day necessary minicamp final week earlier than struggling what coach John Harbaugh referred to as a sprained ankle. Ferguson, who was set to report back to coaching camp in late July, had 67 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and three pressured fumbles over his 38 video games (10 begins) with the Ravens.
“Jaylon was a good-hearted, mild one who beloved his household and his crew,” Harbaugh mentioned in a press release launched by the crew. “He was a pleasure to speak with and be round day-after-day. You at all times needed to see and speak to ‘Ferg.’ Our prayers and our assist go to his household. Our hearts are together with his Spirit. R.I.P., Jaylon.”
Ravens teammates described Ferguson as real and supportive. Exterior linebacker Tyus Bowser mentioned Ferguson’s “constructive power, encouragement and his perception in me helped mildew me into the participant and man I’m at present.” Defensive lineman Calais Campbell mentioned Ferguson “often had an enormous smile on his face and would loosen up the room with a joke.” Inside linebacker Josh Bynes wrote on Twitter that he and Ferguson “joked collectively, laughed collectively, prayed collectively, fought on the sphere collectively!!”
Security Tony Jefferson mentioned Ferguson informed him earlier than leaving minicamp that he was “able to have an enormous yr, and I believed it was going to be his finest season as a Raven.” Inside linebacker Patrick Queen, a fellow Louisiana native, shared on Twitter that he’d had a current dialog with Ferguson. “Said it was our turn this year,” he wrote.
“Jaylon had a pure coronary heart,” left sort out Ronnie Stanley mentioned. “He needed to be a fantastic participant, however by no means tried to downplay his teammates to get there. Whereas going towards him in observe, he would at all times inform me once I was doing a great job, even when it meant it was towards himself. He was at all times with a smile and had an eagerness to study. He needed to be higher for himself and his children. He was so excited each time he had a brand new child who was about to be born. He at all times talked about them and the way he performs for them.”
A 3rd-round draft choose in 2018, Ferguson set the Soccer Bowl Subdivision document for profession sacks (45) at Louisiana Tech, eclipsing former Arizona State and Ravens nice Terrell Suggs’ mark. Then-Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale informed Ferguson after he was drafted that he was “the very best pass-rush interview I ever had. If you began speaking about go rush, your eyes lit up, and I can’t wait to get you up right here.”
Ferguson was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, successful Convention USA Defensive Participant of the Yr honors in 2018 and incomes the nickname “Sack Daddy” from a teammate. Ferguson grew to become the primary member of his household to earn a university diploma.
“The LA Tech Household mourns this morning’s tragic information of the sudden loss of life of former Bulldog nice, Jaylon Ferguson,” the Louisiana Tech soccer crew mentioned in a press release shared on Twitter. “We are going to bear in mind his God-given skills on the sphere and his infectious persona off of it.”
A day earlier than Ferguson was drafted in April 2019, a twister with 130-mph winds tore by Ruston, a small metropolis in northern Louisiana, together with parts of Louisiana Tech’s campus. The storm left two folks lifeless and brought about $9.1 million in injury to metropolis property. In its aftermath, Ferguson joined a wave of volunteers who helped clear particles, drop off meals, water and provides, and assist these in want.
Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker referred to as Ferguson a “class act,” a “sturdy function mannequin” for the realm’s youth and “a heck of a go rusher, too.”
“We misplaced an individual with an enormous coronary heart and a need to assist the group, regardless of the place he’s,” Walker mentioned in a phone interview Wednesday. “He was not from Ruston, however but he adopted the town. And through a time of want, he stepped as much as the plate, identical to a number of former gamers did who got here again. So it’s one factor to say, ‘I’m a part of the group and I need to assist,’ nevertheless it’s one other factor if you’re going out and really doing the work.”
Robb Odom, Ferguson’s soccer coach at West Feliciana Excessive Faculty in St. Francisville, Louisiana, mentioned in an interview that Ferguson was well-mannered, quiet and at all times “took care of his enterprise.” Ferguson had an enormous coronary heart, Odom mentioned, and “didn’t have a egocentric bone in his physique.”
When he was capable of come dwelling to Louisiana, Ferguson typically visited his alma mater. West Feliciana retired Ferguson’s highschool jersey, No. 44, final yr. Ferguson’s father, Richard, wore No. 44 as nicely, they usually’d typically argue over who was the higher participant, Odom mentioned.
”The entire group is in shock,” Odom mentioned. “It’s a tragic, unhappy day. He will probably be missed.”
Neighbors within the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue mentioned the information got here as a shock. They had been unaware of Ferguson having any connection to the neighborhood, which they mentioned is close-knit and comparatively quiet.
“What the hell was a Ravens participant doing on this block?” mentioned Lawrence Cox, 40, sounding incredulous. Cox had simply pulled up exterior his home Wednesday afternoon, having apparently slept by the police response in a single day. “That’s breaking information to me,” he mentioned.
Krystle Livering, 40, mentioned she awoke round 4 a.m. and noticed a automotive being towed away from the scene. Hours handed earlier than she realized what the police investigation was about. She mentioned she couldn’t recall listening to about any Ravens gamers hanging out within the space.
“I do not know what occurred,” she mentioned. “It’s simply actually unhappy.”
Ferguson is survived by his fiancée, Doni Smith, and their three younger kids, Jrea, Jyce and Demi. On her Instagram story Wednesday, Smith shared movies of Ferguson enjoying together with his children and images of their household collectively.
“I like you a lot!!” she wrote. “I’ll by no means in my life really feel the love you gave me child! It’s at all times been us. You actually left me on this world alone child. I’m damaged. I’m damage. I would like you again!!”
Baltimore Solar reporter Matt Cohen contributed to this text.