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‘Never would’ve guessed this in a million years’: WSU’s Tyler Hilinski remembered as genuine, well-liked

Tyler Hilinski was remembered as a popular, friendly player on WSU's football team. (AP)
LISTEN: WSU reporter Theo Lawson on Tyler Hilinski as a person and teammate

The Spokesman Review’s Theo Lawson joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle Wednesday morning to answer questions surrounding the tragic passing of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski.

Pullman police responded to Hilinski’s Pullman apartment Tuesday after he failed to show up for practice, where he was found deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A rifle and note were recovered nearby. He was 21 years old.

Callers speak on depression, suicide prevention after Hilinski’s death

“It’s obviously shocking for the community and for the Washington State football team,” The Spokesman Review’s Theo Lawson told Brock and Salk. “Never would’ve guessed this in a million years.”

Lawson began covering the Cougars in August, and remembers Hilinski as being a genuine, fun-loving person.

“(Hilinski) was one of the first people I spoke to. He was one of the more genuine people on the team, one of the most well-liked players on the team. Teammates played for him as if he was the starting quarterback. He was always known to be positive and upbeat; kind of had this infectious attitude, great sense of humor, and was very humble. Graceful after losses, after wins. Really, the kind of guy you want on your team.

“I’ve only known him from the media perspective, (but) was always the kid with the smile on his face. You never know what kind of internal monsters someone’s dealing with and what’s going on behind the scenes.”

The investigation to confirm Hilinski’s cause of death is ongoing.

You can find Lawson’s full interview in this podcast.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours at 1-800-273-8255. If you prefer to text, the Crisis Text Line is available 24/7, text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the U.S. to reach a trained crisis counselor.