USC Football Player Chris Brown Dead at 24

Chris Brown, a star offensive lineman for USC before heading to the NFL and XFL, has died at age 24. Read on for tribute messages from Sam Darnold and others.

By Ryan Gajewski Apr 20, 2021 1:11 AMTags
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A former standout from the USC football team has sadly passed away

On Monday, April 19, the USC Athletic Department's official Twitter account confirmed that offensive lineman Chris Brown has died at the age of 24. No cause of death has been announced for the player, who began attending the school in 2014 and started for the team in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

"#FightOnForever, Chris Brown," the tweet read. "So young. So talented. Gone far too soon."

This follows USC head coach Clay Helton tweeting a tribute message to Chris just before midnight on Sunday, April 18.

"Heartbroken to hear the news that we lost Chris Brown today," Clay wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Brown family. Chris meant so much to so many. Great person, player, teammate, and Trojan. God bless my friend. You are forever in our hearts."

Chris, who was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention in his junior year, went undrafted by the NFL after his time at USC. He was later signed by the San Diego Chargers before joining the XFL's DC Defenders for the 2020 season. He played all five of the Defenders' games during the league's truncated run.

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"The XFL is saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Brown, a member of @XFLDefenders during the 2020 season," the league's official Twitter account posted on April 19. "Our thoughts are with the entire Brown family." 

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sam Darnold, quarterback of the NFL's Carolina Panthers who starred at USC until he was the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft, posted two photos to his Instagram Story of himself hanging out with Chris.

"Still can't believe easy brotha," Sam wrote, including a heart emoji. He added, "Greatest dude EVER."

Chris' passing comes less than a year after his former USC teammate Max Tuerk died of an enlarged heart at age 26 in June 2020.