Spencer Webb, a tight end for the Oregon Ducks at the University of Oregon, has died in an apparent cliff-diving accident.
While a Facebook statement Thursday by the Lane County Sheriff’s Office only revealed that a 22-year-old man was found dead Wednesday, The Sacramento Bee later confirmed the football player’s identity. Webb was found at 2:30 pm near Triangle Lake, according to SF Gate.
His body was recovered from Slide Rock at Lake Creek Falls, a popular spot for cliff divers 35 miles west of the university campus in Eugene. The sheriff’s office confirmed no foul play was suspected and that Webb’s death currently appears to be an accident.
“Upon arrival, deputies learned that a 22-year-old male recreating in the area fell and struck his head,” the statement read, adding that bystanders and first responders were unable to revive him. Personnel then carried the body back up to the road from a steep trail.
With enormous rock slabs serving as perfectly formed slides to leap from, Slide Rock has long appealed to local divers and adrenaline junkies. As noted by Eugene Outdoors, however, trekking up to those elevated spots “is more treacherous than the jump and the rocks are usually slippery.”
For his friends, relatives, and Oregon Ducks teammates, Webb’s death came as an utter shock.
“It’s a big loss for everybody, just truly unbelievable,” Terrance Leonard, a family friend, told The Sacramento Bee. “Spence was like a son to me. He played with great energy. He was such a nice kid. He had a great personality.”
According to a 2016 profile by The Sacramento Bee, Webb was raised in Sacramento, California, by his aunt, uncle and grandparents. While his older brother Cody eventually became his legal guardian, football became Webb’s salvation.
Webb grew into a four-star recruit in high school and placed 10th among all tight ends in 2018 before joining the Oregon Ducks. He played nine games the following year and garnered three touchdowns and 18 receptions for 209 yards.
While the pandemic cut the 2020 season short, Webb caught 13 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown across 14 games in 2021. It was his fourth year with the Oregon Ducks.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Spencer Webb,” tweeted Oregon Football on Thursday. “Our hearts go out to his family, teammates, and friends at such a difficult time. We will miss Spencer greatly. ”