Updated February 28, 4:05 PM CT
Rice football players death tied to "toxic effects of carfentanil"
Former Hardin-Jefferson football star Blain Padgett's death has been attributed to ingesting a synthetic opioid, according to details from his autopsy.
Padgett, 21, was found dead by his Rice teammates inside his Houston apartment on March 2 after he missed a morning workout.
Officials ruled Padgett's death an accident due to "toxic effects of carfentanil."
Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid "10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl," according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The drug is used as a tranquilizer for elephants, the DEA said, and can resemble powdered cocaine or heroin.
Padgett, a redshirt junior defensive lineman, had 3.5 career sacks at Rice and was expected to be a key player for the Owls this fall.
He was a 2014 Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold football award winner. Padgett, who graduated from Hardin-Jefferson in 2015, was also a high school defensive MVP, All-District 9-4A District II pick and National Honor Society member, according to his bio on the Rice University website.
Blain Padgett - American Collegiate Football Player
HOUSTON, TX. - Blain Padgett, 21, was found dead at his apartment near Rice University on Friday.
The school's defensive end had failed to show up for the team's workout. The cause of death is currently unknown.
He led the defensive line in tackles during the 2016 season with 41 total but failed to start in many games in the 2017 season because of injuries
A promising defensive end from Rice University has passed away, according to the school's athletic department.
"Our team is devastated by this news," said school coach Mike Bloomgren in a statement. '"All of my thoughts right now are how best to help Blain's family and his teammates in this very difficult period."
Padgett, 6ft 5in - 250lbs, led the defensive line in tackles during the 2016 season with 41 total, but only started in three games last season due to injury.
Padgett's father was a linebacker at the University of Texas from 1987-91.
The team will begin spring drills on Monday after coming off a season of one win and 11 losses.
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