San Jose police officer and former San Jose State University football player DeJon Packer died over the weekend. He was 24.
Milpitas police said Packer was found unresponsive inside his home. The coroner's office has not released a cause of death, but foul play has been ruled out.
"He had this big smile and was one of the most well-liked guys on our team," San Jose State coach Brent Brennan said. "Just a really, really special young man and was in just such a great place in his life."
Packer was finishing his first year as an officer.
Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.
"We have a lot of officers right now that are grieving the loss of this young officer," San Jose police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. "He was very well liked."
The loss has devastated Packer's new team and the team that saw him walk on from San Jose City College to become a star running back.
"Everyone here is really, really hurting," Brennan said. "DeJon was an incredible young man. He had so much light to share with the world."
Brennan said he wasn't surprised Packer chose to become a police officer after leaving the football field, knowing he was always about service to others.
"I love DeJon Packer," Brennan said. "We all did. Everyone here is going to miss him so much. He was special in every way."