Cody Ince, a former Iowa offensive lineman and NFL hopeful, has died “unexpectedly” at just 23 years old.
Ince’s “sudden passing” comes less than a year before he was expected to be married.
No cause of death has been revealed but Ince’s obituary describes his death as “unexpected.”
He was supposed to marry his fiancée, Olivia, in May of 2024 in Wisconsin, according to the couple’s wedding page.
Ince died “unexpectedly at his home near Grantsburg, Wisconsin,” according to his obituary.
Ince was an NFL hopeful according to the Daily Mail.
The report notes that the 6’4″, 280-pounder once had a “legitimate NFL career” before injuries forced him to quit.
The Wisconsin native was forced to stop playing with one year of eligibility remaining.
Ince started 10 games for Iowa between 2018 and 2021, played in a total of 18 from 2020 to 2021, and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection for 2020, as well.
After being named to the dean’s list in 2021, Ince graduated in 2022.
“I am incredibly sad to hear about Cody Ince’s sudden passing,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement.
“Cody was a tremendous young man, valued teammate, and contributor to our program.
“He loved football, fishing, and hunting, and believed in the importance of family and friendships.
“Cody was just beginning this next chapter of his life and was about to be married,” Ferentz added.
Former Iowa teammate Arland Bruce IV said that Ince “showed [him] what true leadership looks like and how to be a great teammate.”
Bruce IV is the son of a former professional football player, Arland Bruce III.
Rest in Peace Cody Ince, may God watch over your family as they mourn your passing and you enter into The Kingdom of Heaven! You showed me what true leadership looks like and how to be a great teammate🤍 pic.twitter.com/pSrCf2RWmT
— Arland Bruce IV (@abruceiv) July 18, 2023
Other former team members spoke very highly of the offensive lineman, such as Tyron Tracy Jr., who said he “had the honor of knowing and playing with Cody while I was at the University of Iowa.
“He was not only a great teammate but an amazing person!”
“Always smiling and cracking jokes but he took his job on the field personally and I loved that about him,” the message adds.
“He used to always bring in deer jerky or sunflower seeds and he made sure I got some every time.”
Other teammates described him as humble, according to local outlet KCRG.
Players said any time they spoke to him, they could tell how much it meant to him to be playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
“Everybody loved Cody. I think that says a lot about him and his come-up,” said teammate Logan Jones.
“My condolences go out to him and his family and his fiancee as well,” Jones added.
Ince leaves behind his fiancée, Olivia Tucker, parents Tammy and Marty, and sister Carly.