AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Former Auburn football star Quentin Groves, who played defensive end for the Tigers from 2004-07 and shares the program record for sacks, has died. He was 32.
Auburn spokesman Kirk Sampson said Saturday that Groves died in his sleep while visiting Trinidad, his wife's native country. Sampson said he didn't know the cause of death.
Groves was a second round pick of the Jaguars in 2008. He played two seasons in Jacksonville before being traded to the Oakland Raiders for fifth round pick in 2010.
Groves was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkison-White Syndrome and underwent heart surgery in 2008 before being drafted by the Jaguars. The illness impacts the heart's speed, forcing it to pump at a rapid rate.
Groves played for the Jaguars, Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns during his career.
“Quentin was an outstanding man, on and off the field,” said former teammate and current Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis, who played with Groves from 2008-09. “He made everyone around him better and always had a smile on his face. He pushed me every day in practice and was a fierce competitor. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend two seasons with him. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family on this incredibly sad day.
He produced 175 tackles and 9.5 sacks in seven seasons.
Current Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks played with Groves at Auburn.
“I had the pleasure and privilege of spending two seasons with Quentin at Auburn and I can attribute a lot of my early success in college to learning from him,” said Marks. “He was an incredible athlete on the field and a great, close friend off of it. I am lucky to have spent a lot of time with Quentin and Treska and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. My sympathy goes to her, their kids and all of his family and friends.”
Groves met his wife, Teska Baptiste, at Auburn when he played football and she ran track. The school said he is survived by his wife and two children.
The organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former linebacker Quentin Groves: pic.twitter.com/iXgTz7q9UQ— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) October 15, 2016
The Auburn Family is deeply saddened by the passing of AU great Quentin Groves. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and teammates. pic.twitter.com/fOoMZrx2nC— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) October 15, 2016
I am hurt to hear about my brother and teammate Q. Groves. Not only was he one of the most talented players I've seen, but he was Auburn. pic.twitter.com/MSrDuXKbw3— Kodi Burns (@KodiBurns) October 15, 2016
This one hurts...RIP my brother...Q.Groves pic.twitter.com/7tsC33w2Q0— Coach T-Will (@T_WILL4REAL) October 15, 2016