After impressing scouts in the week leading up to the Senior Bowl, former Washington State University quarterback Luke Falk will skip the game.
Falk withdrew from the game on Friday so he could attend the funeral of Tyler Hilinski on Saturday, the Seattle Times reports. Hilinski, WSU’s presumed starting quarterback next season, died of a self-inflicted gunshot would to the head earlier this month at his apartment in Pullman.
Falk planned to wear No. 3 in the game in honor of Hilinski. “He needs to be remembered,” Falk told reporters on Tuesday. “He was an amazing person and an amazing soul. This guy was one of the most outgoing, bubbly ... just a guy you want to be around. And people need to know it.”
Falk has earned praise during the week of practice for his consistent play and for his eloquent public comments about Hilinski.
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“We really want Tyler to be remembered and this to be talked about,” Falk told reporters on Tuesday. “I mean, when suicide is the second-leading cause of death of men from 18 to 45 years old, it should be talked about and we should do something about it. I feel like at times we feel like we can’t express our emotions because we’re in a masculine sport. And him being a quarterback, people look up to you as a leader, so he felt like he really probably couldn’t talk to anybody. You know, we’ve got to change some of that stuff. We’ve got have resources and not have any more stigma on people going through that.”
Hilinski’s funeral is Saturday at 1:30 in La Verne, California. The Senior Bowl is 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Mobile, Alabama.