NFL: Combine

Feb 24, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California Trojans offensive lineman Max Tuerk speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Former Southern California and NFL center Max Tuerk died Sunday at the age of 26, USC announced.

No cause of the death was immediately known.

USCFootball.com, part of the 247Sports network, reported that Tuerk collapsed while hiking.

The Trojans made an announcement about Tuerk on their Twitter account.

"#FightOnForever, Max Tuerk. The #TrojanFamily is terribly saddened by the news of Tuerk's passing, gone too soon at the age of 26, and our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with his family."

Tuerk played at USC from 2012-15 and was a freshman All-American in 2012 and a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2014. His senior season ended after five games due to a knee injury.

USC coach Clay Helton was devastated by the news.

"Heartbroken by the loss of Max Tuerk. Incredible person, teammate, and Trojan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," Helton said in a tweet.

Tuerk was a third-round pick (66th overall) by the then-San Diego Chargers in 2016. But he never played in a game for the club and was suspended for the first four games of the 2017 campaign for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The Chargers waived him in early October after the suspension was over. Three weeks later, they signed him to their practice squad.

The Arizona Cardinals signed Tuerk off the Chargers' practice squad on Nov. 6, 2017 and he played in one game for the team before being released the following April.

--Field Level Media

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