Fred Matua, Former USC Trojans Player, Dead at 28

Fred Matua, #67 for the the Detroit Lions, watches the preseason game on August 11, 2006 in Detroit, Michigan. Tom Pidgeon/Getty

The University of Southern California family is mourning the loss of one of its members.

Fred Matua, who played for the Pac-12 school's Division I football team from 2003-2005 as an offensive lineman, passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 28. Matua is survived by 4-year-old daughter Tiamoni.

ESPN reports that the 6-foot-2 athlete's cause of death is heart-related — a condition for which he was recently hospitalized.

In his professional football career, the Wilmington, Calif. native was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2006. After being cut from the Michigan team, he was signed to the Tennessee Titans practice squad before being picked up by the Cleveland Browns during the 2006-2007 NFL season.

In 2008 he was picked up by the Washington Redskins. From 2009 through 2010, he played on the Florida Tuskers and Omaha Nighthawks, teams in the United Football League.

Upon his death, fellow athletes mourned Matura's death via Twitter.

"RIP Fred Matua, former college teammate and friend. You gone be missed bro. Way too early," Reggie Bush, running back for the Miami Dolphins, wrote Monday.

"So sad to hear that my friend and teammate Fred Matua has passed. Words just can't describe it. RIP brother! You will be forever missed," Matt Leinart, quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, posted.

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