Former Lions draft pick Fred Matua dies at 28

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Fred Matua, a 2006 seventh-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, has died at the age of 28.

Several of Matua’s former teammates posted messages on Twitter last week indicating that Matua had been hospitalized as a result of either a heart attack or an aneurysm. Although Matua needed emergency surgery, the news initially appeared to be positive, as some of his teammates wrote that they had heard he was going to pull through. The news came today that Matua had passed away.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who was Matua’s college coach at USC, confirmed on Twitter on Sunday that Matua had died.

Reggie Bush, one of three Heisman Trophy winners Matua blocked for, passed along his condolences today.

The 6-foot-2, 315-pound Matua was a three-year starter at guard for USC before he was drafted by the Lions. He also spent time with the Titans, Browns and Redskins.