Oregon State freshman football player collapses, dies

Thu Dec 8, 2011 10:15am EST

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(Reuters) - A freshman football player at Oregon State University died on Wednesday evening after collapsing at a campus athletic center while playing basketball, college officials said.

Fred Thompson, a 19-year-old student from California, was transported to a local hospital after he collapsed and was pronounced dead, school officials said in a statement.

No other details were immediately released, but the school said a press conference would be held on Thursday.

Thompson, a defensive tackle listed on the Oregon State athletic website as 6 feet 4 inches and 317 pounds, was just days away from celebrating his 20th birthday.

"The thoughts and prayers of Beaver Nation are with Fred's family," read a statement on the athletics home page.

Thompson was considering a business major and was a standout player for his high school team, his player bio said.

Oregon State University is a research school with nearly 24,000 students located about 90 miles south of Portland in the city of Corvallis.

Nicknamed the Beavers, the university's football team 2011 record was 3-9.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Greg McCune)

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