Trabis Ward Dead: Running Back Dubbed ‘The Next Marshawn Lynch’ Shot Dead in Florida

Trabis Ward Dead

Facebook/Trabis Ward Trabis Ward pictured on Facebook.

Trabis Ward is the former Tennessee State University running back who was shot dead in Florida on October 10. He was 31 years old.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting took place around 12:30 a.m. on October 10 at a J&L Liquors store in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. Investigators are seeking for the unidentified suspects in the shooting. Ward was found dead in the parking lot of the store. He was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The case is being handled by the Broward Sheriff’s Office homicide unit.

The press release adds that investigators believe there were multiple witnesses to the shooting who fled the scene. Those witnesses are being asked to come forward. Witnesses are asked to call BSO Homicide Detectives Samantha Cottam at 954-321-4544, Phillip Reynolds at 954-321-4210 or Broward Crime Stoppers on 954-493-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be left online at

Ward’s Coach at TSU Said He Thought the Running Back Needed Another Year at College Level

Ward was a native of Fort Lauderdale who played college football with the Tennessee State Tigers between 2009 and 2013. Ward attended Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. In 2013, Ward declared for the NFL Draft and would go on to join the St. Louis Rams. Ward’s coach at TSU, Rod Reed, told Fansided at the time, “We needed him back and I thought that he needed another year. But I’m sure he’ll catch somebody’s eye in the NFL and hopefully, he can catch on somewhere.”

Prior to the 2013 draft, Ward was courted by the Tennessee Titans.

Ward Majored in Sports Science & Human Performance at Tennessee State University

In a statement on Twitter, the Tennessee State Tigers said, “We are saddened to learn of the passing for former Tiger Trabis Ward. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, teammates and coaches. 🕊/” Ward majored in human performance and sports science, according to his TSU profile.

In 2012, Ward was named to the College Sports All-American Team after a record of 1,460 yards and 15 touchdowns.
After Ward left Tennessee State University in 2013, his replacement, Telvin Hooks, told The Daytona Beach News-Journal in 2013, “I don’t think anybody can replace Trabis Ward. He was a great running back. We’re going to have our hands full trying to do the things he did last year, but I feel like we have enough guys to go ahead and do what we have to do.”

Prior to Joining TSU, Ward Was Courted by Ohio State & University of North Carolina

Ward told in 2008 that he was being courted by Ohio State. Ward said, “Ohio State’s number one right now because they’re talking about what I’m talking about and they’re willing to show me.” In a separate interview on Rivals’ website from 2008, Ward spoke about his skill set saying, “I can do a lot of things. I’m big. I can run over you or past you or I can give you a move. I’m working on my ball switching and things like that, the little things.”

At the same time, the University of North Carolina were also reported to have been interested in Ward. A Tar Heel Times op-ed referred to Ward as “the next Marshawn Lynch.”

In 2016, Ward spent 13 months in prison on various charges include resisting arrest, grand theft, leaving the scene of crash and reckless driving.

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