Tech mourns loss of former great Jaylon Ferguson

A HUGE LOSS: Former Louisiana Tech star Jaylon Ferguson, the NCAA’s all-time sacks leader, has passed away at the age of 26.

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RUSTON – On Wednesday morning, the news broke that former Louisiana Tech star Jaylon Ferguson had passed away at the age of 26.

“It’s a somber day around our athletic department and community,” current Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood said about the loss of Ferguson, the former Bulldog and the NCAA’s all-time career sacks leader. “Those who were privileged enough to truly know Jaylon have nothing but wonderful things to say about the young man.”

The news came from the Baltimore Ravens camp, where Ferguson was set to begin his fourth year with the organization. He was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Ravens. No additional details on Ferguson’s death have been released.

“We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,” the team said in a statement. “He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”

The St. Francisville native and former prep star at West Feliciana High School spent five years in a Louisiana Tech uniform and became one of the all-time greats in Bulldog history.

Ferguson, a four-time all-Conference USA selection, was named the 2018 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year after totaling a program record 17.5 sacks during the season. He ended his Bulldog career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in sacks with 45.0 earning the nickname “Sack Daddy.” He totaled 187 career tackles, including 65 career tackles for loss. 

“His records and honors prove he was one of the best to ever wear a Bulldog uniform,” said Wood. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family as well as the Baltimore Ravens organization.”

Ferguson earned multiple All-American honors during his career in Ruston, including Football Writers Association of American (FWAA) Freshman All-American honors in 2016 and AP, FWAA, Walter Camp and Sporting News All-American honors in 2018. He was a finalist for the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award and a semifinalist for the 2018 Chuck Bednarik Award.

“The Louisiana Tech Football Family is saddened to hear the news of Jaylon Ferguson’s passing,” said new Bulldog coach Sonny Cumbie. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this time.”

Ferguson’s younger brother Jazz, who originally signed with LSU, was a record-breaking wide receiver at Northwestern State University in 2018. He is now playing in the CFL.

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tech