Former NFL, USC offensive lineman Max Tuerk dies at 26
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Max Tuerk, an All-America offensive lineman in Southern California who was drafted by the Chargers, has died. He was 26.
Tuerk's family said he died on Saturday while hiking with his parents on a favorite trail in the Cleveland National Forest north of San Diego. No details were given.
"Max loved his teammates, coaches, and schools," the family said in a statement. '' Max was a loving son and older brother and his death leaves a huge hole in our hearts. ''
Tuerk played for the Trojans from 2012-15. He was a newcomer to All-American and an All-Pac-12 first team selection in 2014. As a three-year starter, he played under three head coaches - Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton.
"Broken by the loss of Max Tuerk," Helton tweeted. '' Incredible person, teammate and trojan. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family. ''
Chargers selected Tuerk in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft, but a knee injury in his last year hampered his progress. Even though he had made the list of chargers, he was inactive all season.
Before his second season, Tuerk was suspended for four games for violating the league's guidelines on performance-enhancing substances. He said he tested positive after taking over-the-counter supplements.
After being released by the Chargers, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals in 2017 and played a game before being cut in 2018.
Tuerk, who was born in Trabuco Canyon, California, played football at the Santa Margarita Catholic College, where he helped the school win a state title in 2011.
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