College Football Player Reed Ryan Died at the Age of 22 — What Happened?

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Nov. 30 2023, Published 12:08 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • On Nov. 21, 2023, University of Minnesota Duluth football player Reed Ryan collapsed during a workout.
  • He went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital.
  • Reed died on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, one week after the sudden collapse.
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On Nov. 21, 2023, following a team workout in the weight room, University of Minnesota Duluth football player Reed Ryan suddenly collapsed. What happened? Keep scrolling for all the known details.

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What happened to Reed Ryan?

According to his obituary, Reed Ryan collapsed after going into cardiac arrest on Nov. 21, 2023, which was the result of an undetected genetic heart condition. The athletic training team immediately administered CPR and regained the defensive lineman's pulse.

Reed was rushed to St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, Minn., where the ICU staff was "amazing in doing everything possible for him." A week later, on Nov. 28, 2023, Reed sadly passed away at the age of 22.

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"Reed had a contagious smile and lived life to the fullest in his short years. Reed loved people, he could talk to anyone and prided himself on being surrounded by friends, family, mentors, and being part of a team," the obituary read.

He is survived by his parents, sister, brother, two nephews, grandmother, great-aunt, two uncles, and dog Sconnie. He was also an organ donor, donating many to help others after he died. He will also be "an important part of an NCAA research study to help prevent this from happening to other athletes," his family revealed in the obituary.

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"Our staff and players are devastated about Reed's passing," UMD Bulldogs head football coach Curt Wiese said in a statement. "Reed aspired to be better every day at whatever task was at hand. He helped bring out the best in others with his positive attitude, infectious smile, and genuine care for the people around him."

Curt continued, "We were fortunate to have Reed on our team, and he made our program, our department, and our community a better place in a short period of time. Reed will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on forever. He was the epitome of a UMD Bulldog, and what we can all aspire to be."

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UMD director of athletics Forrest Karr added, "Reed had a positive impact on so many and we are deeply saddened by his passing. Reed was a kind, caring, and thoughtful young man who enjoyed bringing people together."

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What was Reed Ryan's cause of death?

As mentioned earlier, Reed Ryan passed away following a cardiac arrest. It's important to note that sudden cardiac arrest stands as the leading cause of death among young athletes.

Notably, LeBron James' teenage son, Bronny, experienced the same incident during a team workout in July 2023. It was later determined to have been caused by an undiagnosed congenital heart defect, for which the USC student-athlete has since undergone corrective surgery.

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Reed was a double major in marketing and professional sales at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Labovitz School of Business and Economics. Before heading to college, Reed graduated from Waunakee High School in 2019 and was the State of Wisconsin Defensive Player of the Year.

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His impressive high school football career included a total of 147 tackles, comprising 63 tackles for loss and 34 sacks. Ryan also wrestled for his high school team, accumulating more than 100 wins.

After high school, Reed played football for four seasons at North Dakota State University before transferring to UMD in 2023. This season, he recorded seven tackles and aided another eight tackles in nine games.

Our thoughts are with Reed's family and friends during this difficult time.

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