Longhorns football player Jake Ehlinger's death caused by accidental fentanyl overdose, family says

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Jake Ehlinger's death is the latest sign of a raging epidemic suffered by Texans. Back in August 2021, Eyewitness News looked into the opioid problem during a town hall, which can be seen in this video.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Former Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger, the younger brother of former Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger, died of a an accidental drug overdose caused by fentanyl, the family said Thursday.

Jake Ehlinger, 20, was found on May 6. No cause of death was immediately released and the family statement said they believe he ingested a dose of the prescription drug Xanax laced with toxic substances, including fentanyl.

PREVIOUS STORY: University of Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger found dead, Austin police say

"The spread of counterfeit pills is an ongoing and significant issue throughout our country, particularly in schools, colleges, and universities," the family said.

"As our family continues to process Jake's death, we felt it was important to share these details with the hope that Jake will not have died in vain," the statement continued. "We pray that sharing Jake's story will help shed light on this problem and prevent other families from also tragically losing a loved one."

Jake Ehlinger did not play in his two seasons at Texas after arriving as a walk-on from Austin's Westlake High School. Sam Ehlinger was a sixth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts after a college career that saw him rank among Texas' career passing leaders.

Ross Ehlinger, Sam and Jake's father, died at age 46 in 2013 of an apparent heart attack while competing in a triathlon in San Francisco.

SEE ALSO: Deadly fentanyl epidemic striking Texans already weary by COVID-19 fight