Washington State quarterback Luke Falk will be honoring a former teammate during the 2018 Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
This week, Falk revealed that he will be wearing the No. 3 jersey of Tyler Hilinski, a former Washington State quarterback who was found dead earlier this month from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“I just felt like [the jersey switch] is what I needed to do. He needs to be remembered,” Falk told reporters during a media opportunity, via ESPN. “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 hopes that his decision to honor Hilinski will continue to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
We really want Tyler to be remembered and this to be talked about,” Falk said.
“I mean, when suicide is the 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 gotta change some of that stuff. We gotta have resources and not have any more stigma on people going through that.”
Hilinski had a very strong impact on his teammates during his time with the program and the positive stories surrounding his presence and attitude continue to come forward.
Seeing Falk honoring his teammate at the Senior Bowl continues to show the kind of person that Hilinski was.
Our deepest condolences continue to go out to Hilinski’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.