Brandon Everage, 30, drowns in Texas

Updated: May 29, 2011, 9:04 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

CAMERON, Texas -- Brandon Everage, a former second-team All-American safety who played on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team, has drowned while swimming in a Texas river. He was 30.

Milam County Sheriff David Greene said in a news release that authorities were called to the Little River in the western part of the county on Friday night.

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Brian Bahr/Getty ImagesBrandon Everage was a reserve safety on Oklahoma's 2000 national title team and a starter in 2002, when he was named a second-team All-American.

Friends said they had been swimming when Everage, a Granger resident, went underwater and didn't surface. A dive team recovered his body Saturday morning.

Everage was a reserve on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team and a starter on the 2003 team that had a shot at the BCS title before losing to LSU in the Sugar Bowl. His death came the same day a memorial was held for Sooners linebacker Austin Box.

"Brandon was a favorite in the locker room and a favorite among the coaches," coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. "He played football with tremendous passion and had a special spark that inspired everyone.

"We will always have fond memories of him. For now, though, we are deeply saddened for Brandon's family."

Box, 22, died on May 19 after being found unresponsive at a friend's home in a suburb of Oklahoma City.

Everage was a second-team All-American in 2002, when he had 94 tackles, six interceptions and three sacks. He was chosen as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given each year to college football's top defensive back.

As a senior, he had 60 tackles while starting the final 12 games at free safety for the Sooners, including the 21-14 loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl with the BCS title on the line. He was not drafted and didn't play in the NFL.

Everage finished his career with 285 tackles -- the fourth-most by a defensive back at Oklahoma -- and 10 interceptions, plus 28 deflected passes. He played on Sooners teams that went a perfect 4-0 against Texas -- including a 63-14 win in 2000 and a 65-13 win in 2003 -- and won two Big 12 championships.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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