Former Arizona Cardinals OL Max Tuerk dies at age 26
Jun 21, 2020, 5:15 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2020, 7:04 am
The USC Trojans announced on Sunday afternoon that former Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Max Tuerk died at the age of 26.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Max Tuerk’s family and friends during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/mKIiIUUpOd
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) June 22, 2020
Tuerk’s family said he died Saturday while hiking with his parents on a favorite trail in Cleveland National Forest north of San Diego. No details were provided.
Tuerk was drafted in the third round (No. 66 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft out of USC by the then-San Diego Chargers.
“Max loved his teammates, coaches and schools,” the family said in a statement. “Max was a loving son and older brother and his passing leaves a giant hole in our hearts.”
Tuerk played for the Trojans from 2012-15. He was a freshman All-American and an All-Pac-12 first-team selection in 2014. As a three-year starter, he played under three head coaches — Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton.
“Heartbroken by the loss of Max Tuerk,” Helton tweeted. “Incredible person, teammate, and Trojan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
The Chargers selected Tuerk in the draft, but a knee injury during his senior year affected his progress. Despite making the Chargers’ roster, he was inactive all season.
Before his second season, Tuerk was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He said he tested positive after taking over-the-counter supplements.
Tuerk played the only regular-season snap of his NFL career for the Cardinals in a 23-0 win over the New York Giants on Dec. 24, 2017. He was cut the ensuing offseason.
Tuerk, who was from Trabuco Canyon, California, played football at Santa Margarita Catholic High, where he helped the school win a state title in 2011.