Max Tuerk, a former standout offensive lineman for the USC Trojans, has died at the age of 26, the school announced Sunday.
Tuerk’s family said he died while hiking with his parents on a favorite trail in Cleveland National Forest north of San Diego, according to the Associated Press.
“#FightOnForever, Max Tuerk,” USC’s athletic department tweeted Sunday afternoon. “The #TrojanFamily is terribly saddened by the news of Tuerk’s passing, gone too soon at the age of 26, and our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with his family.”
“Heartbroken by the loss of Max Tuerk. Incredible person, teammate, and Trojan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Trojans head coach Clay Helton tweeted a short time later.
Tuerk attended Santa Margarita High in Orange County’s Rancho Santa Margarita. He played multiple positions on the offensive line for USC from 2012- 15, winning first team all-Pac-12 honors in 2014.
Tuerk was drafted in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the then- San Diego Chargers, but released in 2017. He was signed by the Arizona Cardinals that season, and appeared in one game for the team.