Former University of Southern California and San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Max Tuerk has died at the age of 26 while out hiking, his family have announced.

Tuerk, who was drafted by the then-San Diego Chargers in 2016 and later joined the Arizona Cardinals, died while hiking on a trail in the Cleveland National Forest with his parents, although no cause of death was immediately given.

“Max loved his teammates, coaches, and schools,” Tuerk’s family said in a statement shared on Sunday.

Statement from Max Tuerk’s family:

“Max was a loving son and older brother and his passing leaves a giant hole in our hearts. His strength and work ethic is an inspiration to many.”

On the news of Tuerk’s death, tributes also poured in from former teams and teammates.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Max’s family during this difficult time.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Max Tuerk’s family and friends during this difficult time.

Just got some terrible news. Damn man, RIP Max Tuerk! Gone too soon.. ✌🏿✌🏿❤️💛

In a decorated college career with the Trojans, Tuerk earned Freshman All-American honors in 2012 and was a First Team All-Pac-12 Selection in 2014.

However, his NFL career was to be short, spending just two years in the league with the Chargers and Cardinals before being released in 2018.