Luke Knox -- a linebacker at Florida International University and brother of Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox -- died Wednesday night, the school announced. He was 22 years old.
No cause of death was given.
A native of Brentwood, Tennessee, Knox followed his older brother to Oxford, Miss., where he spent four seasons with Ole Miss. He transitioned from linebacker to tight end his senior season and saw action in seven games before transferring to FIU this past offseason to play under head coach Mike MacIntyre, who had previously served as defensive coordinator at Ole Miss.
“Words cannot express the heartfelt sorrow we feel because of the passing of our teammate and friend, Luke Knox,” MacIntyre said in a statement Thursday. “I had the honor of coaching Luke at Ole Miss and FIU. While I admired his passion for football, his genuine love for his family and teammates is what I will always remember. He had a special way of making everyone around him feel comfortable and confident.”
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MacIntrye went on to comment on Knox’s “special way to make everyone around him feel comfortable and confident.”
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin also released a statement regarding Knox’s death.
“There are heavy hearts throughout our football team after the passing of Luke Knox,” Kiffin wrote. “I am very grateful for my personal relationship and time spent with Luke. He was a tremendous teammate and an even better person who lifted everyone around him.
“The Knox family means so much to the Ole Miss family, and our players, staff and the rest of the university extend our deepest sympathies to all those that were touched by Luke’s spirit. I know he is with God now.”
Knox, who studied business, was due to turn 23 years old in a month. He was the second of five kids. In addition to his brother Dawson, his sister LJ plays soccer at Auburn.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott addressed the tragic loss on Thursday, expressing support and condolences for the Knox family.
“My heart goes out -- our hearts go out to Dawson and his family during this time,” McDermott said. “We’re right there with him in supporting him and his family. Tragic news that I woke up to this morning. We love him and we support him …”
Dawson Knox was not at practice on Thursday. The Bills are due to host the Denver Broncos on Saturday for their second preseason match of the year.