LOGAN — On the football field, former Utah State safety Brian Suite was known as a tenacious tackler, a gifted defender, and an athlete who would enjoy four years bouncing around the NFL.
Suite fought cancer with the same attitude.
The Aggies confirmed Wednesday that Suite has died after a battle with stage 4 sarcoma. He was 28.
“I have no words to describe how I’m feeling,” Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said in a statement. “Brian’s family, friends, coaches and teammates have lost a great one far too soon. He was an integral member of this team and of Aggie Nation that impacted the lives of all he came in contact with both off and on the field.
“He embodied everything that we want an Aggie to be, and his example of positivity in the face of adversity will live on. Our hearts are with his mom, Wendy, and with the Suite family at this time of tremendous loss.”
“I have no words to describe how I’m feeling. Brian’s family, friends, coaches and teammates have a lost a great one far too soon. He was an integral member of this team and of Aggie Nation that impacted the lives of all he came in contact with both off and on the field....” 1/2 pic.twitter.com/YwONbg5QBN— USU Football (@USUFootball) September 2, 2020
Suite, who graduated with a degree in business administration, had returned to Utah State as recently as 2018, when he was honored by the program with former teammates Frankie Sutera, Zach Vigil and Marwin Evans.
Former Utah State teammate DJ Nelson shared the following tribute on Twitter:
“Brian Suite was one of the most humble and good-natured people I’ve ever been around,” Nelson wrote. “(I) truly believe the world would be better if we were all like him; I’m not just saying that.”
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound native of Makiki, Hawaii, was a two-time All-Mountain West honorable mention safety in five seasons with the Aggies. He started every game of his senior year in 2014, when he amassed 76 tackles, a tackle for loss, and three interceptions.
Suite, who redshirted his freshman season in 2010 and missed the 2011 season with an injury, even went on to a four-year NFL career, bouncing around preseason training camps, most notably with the Detroit Lions.
But in the summer of 2019, he moved from his home in Seattle back to the islands when his father died from cancer, according to KHON in Honolulu.
A month after his dad’s passing, Suite received more bad news: he had been diagnosed with sarcoma. Through chemotherapy and other treatments, Suite kept an upbeat perspective, though.
“People just telling you that they love you,” he told KHON. “It’s a really special experience to be surrounded by all these people that I’ve met throughout my life.”
Suite’s final Instagram post was dedicated to his father, a message he shared last month on the one-year anniversary of his dad passing while adding he had just finished a two-month run of chemo medication via pill form and updated scans.
View this post on Instagram
This weekend marked one year since my pops passed away. I think about him every day and it bring me peace to know he is somewhere on his boat, chasing a sunset with a beer in his hand and a smile on his face. We love you and miss you pops! It’s been a while since posted an update, I wrapped up two months of trying the chemo medication in pill form and got some updated scans. Unfortunately, this form of treatment was not effective and the tumor began to grow again. It was frustrating to not get the results we wanted but we knew this would be a battle and there would be adversity along the way. Last week, I checked into Queens Medical Center to start a new regimen of aggressive Chemo that required me to spend 5 nights in the hospital. It sure wasn’t easy but I am happy to be home recovering with my Mom. Ill enjoy 3 weeks of recovery before I go in for another round. Thank you for all the positive messages and love. Hope everyone is staying safe out there, love ya fam.
“Unfortunately, this form of treatment was not effective and the tumor began to grow,” he wrote. “It was frustrating to not get the results we wanted but we knew this would be a battle and there would be adversity along the way.”
Suite then checked into a local hospital for another aggressive round of chemotherapy for a week, followed by three weeks of recovery, a timeline leading to Wednesday’s news.
“Thank you for all the positive messages and love,” Suite finished in his Instagram post. “Hope everyone is staying safe out there, love ya fam.”
KHON said a GoFundMe* was set up to help Suite’s family with medical expenses.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.