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Patriots.com News Blitz - 5/29/2007

The sudden, sad news took everyone by surprise.

"We have suffered a stunning and tragic loss today," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick in a team-issued statement announcing the death of defensive lineman Marquise Hill.

"We are absolutely heartbroken to learn of Marquise's death," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in the same statement.

Hill died as a result of a jet ski accident on New Orleans' Lake Pontchartrain.

"Marquise will be remembered as a thoughtful and caring young man who established himself as one of the year-round daily fixtures of our team," Belichick continued.

Kraft echoed the head coach's sentiments.

"He was only 24 years old and his death is hard to comprehend. Marquise was a very respectful young man who worked hard to improve and was always eager to contribute to the team, both on the field and in the community."

A New Orleans native, Hill attended high school there before playing collegiately at Louisiana State University. He was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Predominantly a reserve on the Pats' ultra deep defensive line, Hill appeared in 13 games in his three NFL seasons. He was also a member of New England's 2004 Super Bowl championship team.

"He also liked to have fun and enjoy things. He always would say, 'Life is short.' He could find anything, anywhere, and talk about it and make everybody laugh," teammate and fellow LSU alum Jarvis Green told The Boston Globe.

"I know it's going to be hard in that locker room seeing his locker," cornerback Randall Gay, another LSU and New England teammate, told the Boston Herald.

In addition to the Globe and Herald, tributes to and more information about Hill can be found nearly everywhere. The most detailed pieces are in The Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

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