Cody Ince, a former star offensive lineman for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, died suddenly over the weekend at the age of 23, Breitbart reported.
Ince joined the program in 2018 but redshirted his freshman year, and played a total of 29 games over three seasons, including 10 starts over the final two seasons in 2020 and 2021.
Tuesday morning, the Hawkeye Football Twitter account posted, "We’re mourning the loss of one of our own. Rest easy, Cody."
The post also included a statement from Coach Kirk Ferentz, who said, "I am incredibly sad to hear about Cody Ince’s sudden passing. Cody was a tremendous young man, valued teammate, and contributor to our program."
"He loved football, fishing and hunting, and believed in the importance of family and friendships. Cody was just beginning this next chapter of his life and was about to be married," the coach added. "Mary and I are heartbroken for his fiancée, his family, and all his friends who knew and loved him. All of us in the football program -- his coaches and teammates -- are mourning his loss."
We’re mourning the loss of one of our own.
Rest easy, Cody. 💛🖤 pic.twitter.com/Ou4zLC9hcj
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) July 18, 2023
An obituary posted by the local funeral home noted that Ince "passed away unexpectedly at his home near Grantsburg, Wisconsin on Saturday, July 15, 2023," at the age of 23.
He is survived by "his fiancé, Olivia Tucker, and hunting dog, Hawk," as well as his mother and father, Tammy and Marty Ince, along with his sister and her fiancé, plus two grandmothers and an assortment of "aunts, uncles, cousins, loving family, and many friends."
The obituary further revealed the dates and times for visitation with his family and a "Celebration of Life" in his honor and asked that anybody who wanted to send flowers instead make a donation to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital in his name, or to plant a memorial tree in memory of him.
Local ABC affiliate KCRG reported that Ince, in addition to his role as an offensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes, was also a gifted and successful student who was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree and was named to the Dean's list for the 2021 Spring semester.
A number of his former teammates shared with the outlet how "heartbroken" they were over the loss, and revealed that they had been informed of Ince's untimely death prior to the news being spread on social media and elsewhere.
"Everybody loved Cody. I think that says a lot about him and his come-up," fellow offensive lineman Logan Jones said. "My condolences go out to him and his family and his fiancé as well."
Punter Tory Taylor said, "I think the people you always think of are his family. The saddest part is he’s only 23."
"The first thoughts -- obviously just thinking about all of the memories I had with Cody was the first thing," defensive end Joe Evans said. "Second thing was just thinking about his family and his fiancé and just how sad I am and just wishing all of my condolences to them. Just the conversations that we had. I would have done anything for that kid. I’m going to miss him."