An Iowa team spokesman reported that Cody Ince, who attended Unity High School in Wisconsin and played the offensive line for four years at the University of Iowa, suddenly died over the weekend.
No cause of death has been released by the family.
“He loved football, fishing, and hunting, and believed in the importance of family and friendships”, Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement.
“Mary and I are heartbroken for his fiancée, his family, and all his friends who knew and loved him. All of us in the football program — his coaches and teammates — are mourning his loss.”
His funeral was set for Saturday, in Amery, near his hometown of Luck and some of his former teammates; Wis. Jack Heflin, Landan Paulsen, and Levi Paulsen, are among the pallbearers.
Ince was an all-state selection by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association in 2017 and was honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2020. He played in 29 games and made 10 starts in his career, one beset by injuries. He graduated in 2022, forgoing his final year of eligibility.
The death of the 23-year-old came as a shock to the Iowa team.
“You showed me what true leadership looks like and how to be a great teammate,” former Iowa wide receiver Arland Bruce IV said in a tweet.
Cody Ince was “not only a great teammate but an amazing person”, Tyrone Tracy Jr said, commenting on the online obituary post.
“Always smiling and cracking jokes, but he took his job on the field personally, and I loved that about him,” Tracy wrote. “He used to always bring in deer jerky or sunflower seeds, and he made sure I got some every time. It’s the little things that I will remember!”