Former Buff Brandon Southward Dead at 28

Former Colorado linebacker Brandon Southward died from drowning Wednesday in New Smyrna, Fla., according to a report from the CU sports information department. He was 28.

According to the report, Southward's death is still under investigation by authorities in Florida, but initial indications are that Southward may have suffered a heart problem while swimming which led to his death Wednesday afternoon.

The former Buff was the first to commit in the 1995 recruiting class under then-first-year head coach Rick Neuheisel. He lettered four seasons, from 1995-98, and had 167 career tackles.

Current CU inside linebackers coach Brian Cabral mentored Southward at CU.

"This is a shock, just devastating," Cabral said Thursday in the CU SID report. "(Brandon) was happy go lucky, a free spirit in a good way. He took great care of his body, was well conditioned, did everything we asked of him, and he just loved every part of the game. He was a pleasure to coach.

"I spend a lot of time with my guys, and they're like sons to me. This is a tough loss."

Funeral arrangements were not determined as of Thursday afternoon.

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