The world lost an inspiration on Jan. 1 when Tyler Trent passed away after a battle with cancer. The Purdue football super fan touched the hearts and lives of people across the country with his magnetic spirit, positivity and gratitude in the face of extreme adversity.
After camping out overnight for tickets to Purdue's game against Michigan game in 2017, Tyler posed for a photo with the Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm, and his story took off. He became a beacon of hope, a Purdue football captain and advocate for those fighting cancer, despite his own diagnosis of a rare bone cancer, osteosarcoma.
In his time at Purdue, where he served as the first three-time captain, Patriots rookie Ja'Whaun Bentley built a friendship with Tyler, and after hearing the news of his passing, Ja'Whaun paid tribute to Tyler on social media.
During media availability on Wednesday, Ja'Whaun remembered his friend and his captain.
"He was a hero. He was a hero to us all. My captain. In many ways, how we lived, he did more in his time here than many of us will do in our whole lives. He made an impact on so many people's lives and became worldwide," Ja'Whaun said. "The Scott Van Pelts of the world, TNT and that crew, just being able to get on the national stage and share his story, not just for the glitz and the glam, but just to get motivation out to other people who may be struggling during his toughest times. He was finding a way to make other people better rather than complaining about what he may have been going through, which was the worst time of his life."
You can watch Ja'Whaun talk about Tyler in the video below, courtesy of ESPN's Mike Reiss.