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Tennessee Titans receiver O.J. Murdock, 25, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound yesterday morning in Tampa, Florida, and while the suicide came as a shock; there may have been signs. Murdock was found in his car in front of Middleton High School, his alma mater, at 8:30 a.m., police said.

STORY: Oh No! Tennessee Titans Receiver O.J. Murdock Commits Suicide

Now, according to the Tampa Bay Times, cryptic text messages were left on the phone of Murdock’s former mentor, Fort Hays State receivers coach Al McCray.

Murdock had sent the messages at around 3:30am, one of which read:

“It was like, ‘Coach, I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family,'” recalled McCray, a former longtime high school assistant in Hillsborough County. “At the end of the text he said, ‘I apologize.’ I figured he’s apologizing because he texted me so early.”

Murdock died at 10:43 a.m. of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. According to a media alert sent out by the Tampa Police Department on Monday morning, Murdock, who signed a free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans a year ago, was transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition. He was found in his car in front of Middleton High School around 8:30 a.m.

The Titans released a statement on Murdock’s death:

“We are shocked and saddened to hear of O.J. Murdock’s death this morning. In his brief time here, a number of our players, coaches and staff had grown close to O.J., and this is a difficult time for them. He spent the last year battling back from an Achilles injury as he prepared for this year’s training camp. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they try to cope with this tragedy.”

Murdock’s agent, Hadley Engelhard, described the receiver as a “hard worker, a great kid.”

“When I spoke to him a week-and-a-half ago he was training his tail off and excited about his opportunities this year…This is obviously sad and right now our thoughts and prayers are with his family…It was tough on him last year, just like anyone on IR. But he had been working hard and was excited and eager about a new opportunity and being a part of the Titans.”

Murdock, on injured reserve last season with the Titans after injuring his Achilles, did not report to training camp Friday with the rest of the Titans. When asked about his absence, coach Mike Munchak told reporters it was for “personal reasons.”

Family and friends are still reeling from Murdock’s tragic death, as young star’s life was cut short.

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