Jaylon Ferguson, who set an FBS record for career sacks while at Louisiana Tech and then played the past three seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, has died. He was 26.
Police said Wednesday the cause of death was still to be determined.
“On June 21, 2022, at approximately 11:25 p.m., Northern District patrol officers responded to a home in the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue for a report of a questionable death,” Baltimore police said. “Once there, officers located 26-year-old Jaylon Ferguson, unresponsive, being treated by medics. Ferguson never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on the scene by medics. No signs of trauma was found or foul play suspected at this time.”
Ferguson, nicknamed “Sack Daddy,” was drafted by the Ravens in the third round in 2019 and played his whole pro career with them. He appeared in 38 games and had 4 1/2 sacks.
“Jaylon was a good-hearted, gentle person who loved his family and his team. He was a joy to talk with and be around every day," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “You always wanted to see and talk to ‘Ferg.’ Our prayers and our help go to his family.”
Born Dec. 14, 1995, in St. Francisville, Louisiana, Ferguson played high school football and basketball at West Feliciana. At Louisiana Tech, his 45 sacks were one better than another Ravens linebacker, Terrell Suggs, achieved at Arizona State.
Ferguson was a third-team AP All-American in 2018.
“The LA Tech Family mourns this morning’s tragic news of the sudden death of former Bulldog great, Jaylon Ferguson,” the Louisiana Tech football program tweeted. “We will remember his God-given talents on the field and his infectious personality off of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Ferguson made nine starts as a rookie for the Ravens in 2019, and he also started the team's only playoff game that season. The linebacker spent time on the COVID-19 list early last season but ended up appearing in 10 games.
“Me and ‘Ferg’ went through some of the same struggles when it came to making a name for ourselves in the league," linebacker Tyus Bowser said. “From that, we were able to gain an understanding and help each other build and grow as players. From the playbook, to the field — and even outside of work — we created a strong bond amongst ourselves. Whether I was having a bad day or vice versa, we encouraged each other, and that’s what I appreciated most and what I’ll miss about him.”
The Ravens finished minicamp last week and are off until training camp. Wednesday was a tragic day for the franchise, with news breaking that both Ferguson and former defensive tackle Tony Siragusa had died.
“‘J Ferg’ had the most genuine energy I’ve ever been around," safety Tony Jefferson said. “Before I left after minicamp in the locker room, he expressed how he was ready to have a big year, and I believed it was going to be his best season as a Raven. He will be watching over us, I know it, and he will bring the team closer just from his mark he left.”