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Former Chargers OL Max Tuerk dies at 26

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Tuerk was selected in the third round of the 2016 draft

NFL: SEP 01 Preseason - 49ers at Chargers Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Sunday afternoon, the incredibly sad news broke that former USC and Chargers center Max Tuerk passed away, the university announced. Tuerk was 26 years old.

Not much news has been made public about the incident other than that he was hiking with his family in the Cleveland National Forest before suddenly collapsing.

Tuerk was a former Freshman All-American and First-Team All-Pac 12 performer for the Trojans. He missed a chunk of his senior season at USC but still managed to get selected by the Chargers with their third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He essentially redshirted as a rookie his first year in San Diego and unfortunately got suspended the first four games of the 2017 season, prompting his release and re-signing to the Bolts’ practice squad. He was later signed by the Arizona Cardinals before being released prior to the 2018 season.

Every death is unfathomably sad. This one hit home a bit more because Tuerk was one of the first Chargers I found myself invested in as I started this journey as a sports journalist. I was a huge fan of his coming out of USC and wanted so badly to see him become the successor to Nick Hardwick at the pivot. Prior to the 2017 season, Tuerk was the topic of one of my very first fanposts here at BFTB. For the life of me, I can’t seem to find a link to it anywhere, but I essentially took a deep dive and discussed why Tuerk was going to be successful once he healed up completely from his ACL surgery.

Destiny had different plans from what I wanted.

All of our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and loved ones. Tuerk wasn’t a Bolt for long, but it’s obvious his impression on the fan base lasted longer than his tenure with the team. It speaks volumes to the type of person and teammate he was, at USC and with the Chargers.