Rice Owls football star's cause of death still unknown

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ABC13's Greg Bailey has reaction from the Rice community after the death of Owls star Blain Padgett. (Padgett family photo)

The Rice Owls football team will gather tonight for a vigil in memory of Blain Padgett, a star defensive end whose body was found at home on Friday.

Padgett's cause of death is still not known, but the university said it appears the athlete died in his sleep.

In a statement, Padgett's family said they were appreciative of the outpouring of support.

"We just appreciate everyone's support and love! He was a gentle giant and loved his family, friends, his country, and his football brothers and coaches so much," Wyndi Padgett wrote. "We don't know why he was taken so early but he lived a full life and enjoyed everything about life!"

A memorial service will be held on Wed., March 7, from 5-7 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, on 3810 N. Major Drive, in Beaumont. His funeral will follow at the church on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Padgett will be buried at Rosedale Cemetery in Sour Lake.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Blain Padgett Scholarship Fund, c/o Wesley United Methodist Church, 3810 North Major Drive, Beaumont, Texas 77713.

RELATED: Rice Owls football star Blain Padgett dies

ABC13's Greg Bailey has reaction from the Rice community after the death of Owls star Blain Padgett.

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