Chris Brown a former USC Trojans offensive lineman, died over the weekend, according to USC coach Clay Helton. He was 24 years old. Helton revealed the news on Sunday afternoon via Twitter. The cause of death was not announced.
"Heartbroken to hear the news that we lost Chris Brown today," Helton wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Brown family. Chris meant so much to so many. Great person, player, teammate, and Trojan. God bless my friend. You are forever in our hearts."
A number of Trojan fans went to Twitter to pay tribute to Brown. "Don't even have words for this," one person wrote. "Chris was one of the most well-liked people I've ever known. Never heard a negative word come from him or about him. RIP brother." Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold played with Brown while attending USC and mourned his death on his Instagram Story.
"Still can't believe this," Darnold said. "Rest easy brotha." Brown signed with the Trojans in 2014 as part of an all-star recruiting class that also featured Adoree' Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster. He appeared in 27 games after redshirting in 2014. Brown was a reserve offensive lineman in 2015 and 2016 before taking over as a starter in 2017. In his first season as a starter, Brown started all 14 games at left guard, helping USC finish the year with an 11-3 record. The team won the Pac-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl after taking down Penn State.
In 2018, Brown started 12 games and was the Trojans' top-graded offensive lineman per Pro Football Focus. 247 Sports wrote that Brown was the "No. 1 graded offensive lineman for 2018 and came out on top in pass blocking (86.5). He only allowed five pressures on the year, including one sack. Brown was only penalized twice."
Brown went undrafted by the NFL in 2019 but signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. He then joined the DC Defenders of the XFL for the 2020 season and played in all five games before the league shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The XFL is saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Brown, a member of [Defenders] during the 2020 season," the team wrote on Twitter. "Our thoughts are with the entire Brown family."