Washington State redshirt senior defensive back Bryce Beekman dies at 22 -Review
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Washington State redshirt senior defensive back Bryce Beekman dies at 22 -Review

Bryce Beekman, a redshirt senior defensive back on Washington State’s football team, died Tuesday in Pullman, Pullman Police Commander Jake Opgenorth confirmed to The Spokesman-Review.

According to a daily activity log, Pullman Police responded to a 5: 44 p.m. phone call from an apartment Opgenorth would later verify belonged to Beekman. The call was listed on the activity log as “breathing concerns.” Beekman was already dead when Pullman Police arrived at the apartment on Northeast Harvey Rd. in Pullman. According to Opgenorth, there have been no signs of tainted play.


According to an email from Whitman County Coroner Annie Pillers, it’s miles going to take “2 to 3 months” to determine the cause of Beekman’s death. Amid the “ongoing investigation,” the coroner’s workplace isn’t any longer providing any additional information at this time.

The safety from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, started in 13 games for the Cougars last season after transferring from Arizona Western College in Yuma, and was primed to return as one of the crucial team’s top defensive playmakers this fall beneath original head coach Nick Rolovich.

Spring workouts in Pullman, originally scheduled to begin Friday, had been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and athletic department officials planned to reevaluate the situation on April 2. WSU students had been encouraged to stay at their permanent area after spring break and Cougars coach Nick Rolovich told newshounds Tuesday on a convention call the majority of his team had no longer returned to campus.

Beekman currently traveled home to Louisiana for spring break, posting a photo on March 14 from his youthful brother’s state championship basketball game. Reece Beekman, a high faculty senior at Scotlandville Magnet Excessive – the faculty Bryce also attended – gained Outstanding Player honors in the Division I title game. Bryce attended and wore a white T-shirt, printed with a photo of the brothers and the phrases “Brothers Keeper.”

“My relationship with Bryce was level-headed in its early stages, nonetheless I knew him to be a amazing younger man,” Rolovich, who informed the team of the news Tuesday night, said in a faculty press release. “He was always certain and properly revered amongst his teammates. My heart goes out to his family and pals.”

“We are in shock with the news of Bryce’s passing,” WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun said. “Bryce was a great younger man, great teammate and will be overlooked by all. We ship our deepest condolences and prayers to the Beekman family and his many pals.”

Mike Leach, who took the head coaching place at Mississippi State this January, was the one who signed Beekman from Arizona Western in December of 2018.

“Heartfelt ideas and prayers hasten out to the Beekman Family and the Washington State University community,” Leach tweeted. “Bryce was an incredible baby who always had a smile and a kind phrase for each person.”

WSU players supplied their condolences on social media late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning sooner than news about Beekman’s death was confirmed.

“25×26 eternally,” fellow defensive back Skyler Thomas posted, referencing Thomas’ No. 25 and Beekman’s No. 26.

“One in all the purest souls,” wrote large receiver Easop Winston Jr.

“Waft high. With no atomize in sight my dawg,” tweeted large receiver Renard Bell.

“RIP boy,” ragged WSU safety Jalen Thompson wrote.

“Savor your family members. Every 2nd matters,” shared offensive lineman Liam Ryan.

Various players, including All-Pac-12 linebacker Jahad Woods, stale social media to share stories about Beekman.

“Bro was so pure, genuine and always happy to be indicate,” Woods tweeted. “By no means ever considered him upset. Repeatedly occasions on the discipline after I let my feelings get the handiest of me, he was ALWAYS there to uplift me and really anyone. There’s been extra than one occasions the place he wouldn’t leave me alone except I smiled.”

Beekman, who transferred to WSU after playing two seasons at Arizona Western, immediately found a role in the Cougars’ defensive secondary after joining the team in the spring of 2018.

Last August, Beekman spoke to newshounds about the increase he’d made in since enrolling at WSU in January and participating in spring camp.

“I’ve grown so noteworthy, it’s amazing how far I acquired from the spring til now,” Beekman said. “Because I really feel comfortable in the defense, I can make certain calls with it. I’d say coming in the spring was the greatest thing, the greatest blessing for me.”

With his willowy measurement and physicality, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Beekman emerged as a projected starting safety for the Cougars during spring practice, alongside Thompson, then claimed the free safety situation during fall camp and started in all 13 games for WSU last season.

Beekman was the team’s fifth-leading tackler, with 60 total takedowns, and he recorded 2½ tackles-for-loss. He also notched one interception, one compelled fumble and one fumble recovery.

Beekman’s handiest stretch came early in the season when the redshirt junior recorded 10 tackles in consecutive games, against Houston and UCLA. He was a inequity-maker in the Houston game, forcing a fumble in the fourth quarter that would successfully seal a 31-24 win in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff at NRG Stadium.

As a redshirt senior, Beekman would’ve been one of two returning starters in WSU’s secondary, along with Thomas, who played at each the safety and nickel positions in 2019.

A native of Milwaukee, Beekman wore the No. 26 at WSU as a tribute to ragged Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor. Beekman’s youthful brother, Reece, is a four-star point guard at Scotlandville and rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in the state of Louisiana. Reece is signed to play for ex-WSU coach Tony Bennett at Virginia next season.

Participants of WSU’s football program will now mourn Beekman’s death handiest 26 months after another player, Tyler Hilinski, died by suicide in an apartment near the Pullman campus.

This story will continue to be updated.