Former NFL, USC offensive lineman Max Tuerk dies at 26 while hiking with parents

Sports

Center Max Tuerk #75 of the USC Trojans plays against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Max Tuerk, an All-American offensive lineman at Southern California who was drafted by the Chargers, has died. He was 26.

Tuerk’s family said he died while hiking with his parents on a favorite trail in Cleveland National Forest north of San Diego.

Tuerk played for the Trojans from 2012-15. He was a freshman All-American and an All-Pac-12 first-team selection in 2014.

He played as a three-year starter under three head coaches — Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton.

He was picked by the Chargers in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. He was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, after which he was cut by the team, according to ESPN.

Tuerk then signed with the Arizona Cardinals and appeared in one game for the team before being cut in 2018. 

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