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SALT LAKE CITY — As family and friends honored the life of former Utah running back Ty Jordan at a Celebration of Life at AT&T Stadium in Texas, Utah Athletics announced a new scholarship fund in his honor.
The Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship was announced Tuesday morning by athletic director Mark Harlan, weeks after the former freshman accidentally shot himself on Christmas night in Texas.
The scholarship, which was first funded by Kyle and Jamie Whittingham to the tune of $100,000, will be awarded to "a student-athlete in the football program who exemplifies the inspiring qualities that Jordan displayed through his work ethic, positivity and perseverance through adversity," according to the university.
"Jordan made a significant impact on the Utah Football program in his short time in Salt Lake City," the university said in a statement.
The freshman battled adversity early in his time at Utah and lost his mother to cancer in August. But Jordan quickly emerged as a leading back for the program and won the starting role.
"Through it all, Jordan remained humble when speaking publicly, deferring credit to his teammates and coaches and frequently expressing his desire to make his mother proud in the way he was fulfilling his dream to play college sports. The significant impact that Ty Jordan made both on and off the field in his short time at the University of Utah will now be commemorated through the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship in the Utah Football program."
In his five-game career at Utah, Jordan rushed for 597 yards and six rushing touchdowns. In his final three games, he rushed for over 100 yards in each game and was eventually named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year. The Mesquite, Texas, native was also named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press.