Spencer Webb, an Oregon tight end heading into his fifth season with the Ducks, died Wednesday afternoon in a cliff-diving accident at the age of 22, the Lane County Sheriff's Office confirmed Thursday.
Police responded to "rock slides" near Triangle Lake just outside of Eugene, Oregon, Wednesday afternoon and found a 22-year-old male who "fell and struck his head," according to the Sheriff's Office. He was unable to be revived and was later identified as Webb. Police officially ruled the death an accident and found no evidence of foul play.
Webb joined the Ducks in 2018, where he redshirted as a freshman. He played in nine games in 2019 where he tallied 18 receptions for 209 yards and three touchdowns. Webb tallied 13 receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown in 2021 following a pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.
Friends, family, teammates, coaches and former Oregon Ducks players were all heartbroken by Webb's death.
“It’s a big loss for everybody, just truly unbelievable,” Terrance Leonard, a friend of Webb and his family, told the Sacramento Bee. “Spence was like a son to me. He played with great energy. He was such a nice kid. He had a great personality.”
“He had his whole life to live,” Larry Morla, Webb's high school coach, said. “He always came back to [Christian Brothers High School] when he was in town. He was a once-in-a-generation talent.”
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning:
🙏 So full of life in every moment of the day. Your smile and energy will be missed Spencer. I love you!
— Dan Lanning (@CoachDanLanning) July 14, 2022
Oregon wide receiver Seven McGee:
My dog.... I don't even know where to start . You been there for me since 2017..Since I wanted to become a duck ! Countless memories! We just rode home together yesterday...💔Love You 4🥺🕊 pic.twitter.com/wwNUjfxRmK
— 7 (@McgeeSeven) July 14, 2022
Former Oregon and current San Franciso 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead:
— Arik Armstead (@arikarmstead) July 14, 2022
Former Oregon and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Kenjon Barner:
— Kenjon Barner (@KBDeuce4) July 14, 2022
Oregon baseball coach Mark Wasikowski:
— Mark Wasikowski (@CoachWazUO) July 14, 2022
Football helped Webb grow
Webb was raised by his aunt, uncle and grandparents around the Sacramento, California, area, according to a 2016 profile by the Sacramento Bee. His older brother, Cody, eventually became his legal guardian and helped raise him with his wife, Alicia, to help build structure and stability for Webb. Football helped with that as well.
“I grew up faster than a lot of kids,” Webb said in 2016. “I never really had a mom or dad in my life. They chose to do other things, so it’s been me and my brother [Cody]. I had a dream, he had a dream, and we’re making that dream happen.
“It doesn’t really bother me now not knowing my mom. She missed out. I’ll see my dad every once in a while. I tell him I love him, but he understands the role my brother has in my life, that my brother is my everything.”
Webb became a four-star high school recruit and ranked 10th among tight ends in 2018, per Rivals (one ahead of eventual 2021 fourth-overall pick Kyle Pitts). He committed to Oregon even after Willie Taggart left the school and wrote that the Ducks "really have everything I'm looking for."