Falk to honor Hilinski by switching jersey number for Senior Bowl

by
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

When Luke Falk takes the field in Saturday's Senior Bowl, he'll be wearing a different number than usual in memory of his late teammate, Tyler Hilinski.

The former Washington State quarterback announced Tuesday that he will wear No. 3 in the Senior Bowl to honor Hilinski, who died at age 21 on Jan. 16 in what the coroner's office ruled a suicide.

"We really want Tyler to be remembered and this to be talked about," Falk said, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN. "I mean, when suicide is the leading cause of death of men from 18 to 45 years old, it should be talked about. ... I feel like at times we feel like we can't express our emotions because we're in a masculine sport. And him being a quarterback, people look up to you as a leader, so he felt like he really probably couldn't talk to anybody. You know, we gotta change some of that stuff. We gotta have resources and not have any more stigma on people going through that.

"I just felt like (the jersey switch) is what I needed to do. He needs to be remembered. He was an amazing person and an amazing soul."

Falk set numerous records during his career with the Cougars. He's expected to be a mid-to-late-round draft pick in a class that boasts other star quarterbacks including Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen.