Only the Good Die Young: Rest in Peace, Korey Stringer

By DJ Byrnes on August 1, 2014 at 12:08p

Has it really been 13 years? It seems like it's only been a couple.

Korey Stringer, a product of Warren, was a 1994 consensus All-American at Ohio State. Kirk Barton called Orlando Pace and him "the best set of tackles that'll ever play at Ohio State." He is probably right.

Stringer was taken with the 24th pick in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. In six seasons, he started 91 out of 93 contests.

On August 1st, 2001, however, Stringer succumbed to a heat stroke suffered during the Vikings' preseason camp. The AP story of his passing is still gut-wrenching to this day:

Stringer, who weighed 335 pounds, vomited three times during the morning conditioning drills in stifling humidity and temperatures in the low 90s. He didn't summon a trainer until the drills had ended, perhaps trying to show he could make it through the day in a league known for its machismo.

Stringer then went to an air-conditioned trailer serving as a makeshift training room on the practice field and lost consciousness. Trainers called paramedics, who took Stringer to Immanuel St. Joseph's-Mayo Health Center. He had a body temperature of 108.8.

His organs failed and he never regained consciousness before dying at 1:50 a.m. Central time Wednesday.

RIP Korey Stringer. You are gone, but Buckeye Nation will never forget your contributions. Legends, as they say, never die. 


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BrooklynBuckeye's picture

RIP. Let's hope coaches of all levels, in all sports don't ever forget him either. Even at the highest levels, coaches shaming players can have fatal consequences.

+2 HS
SaudiBuckeye's picture

RIP Korey Stringer. You are gone, but Buckeye Nation will never forget your contributions. Legends, as they say, never die. 

So true

toad1204's picture

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+10 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

Korey was one of my favorites: Warren G. Harding, the Buckeyes, the Vikings. Just a damn shame.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Still tough to read about this.

RIP, big man.


+3 HS

I remember where I was when I heard that news and it made me sick to my stomach. He was one of our own and it could've been avoided. Still bothers me. RIP Corey. You were a great player but an even greater human being.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

allinosu's picture

I remember the jumbo package with an off balanced line with Corey and Orlando side by side. Tough to defend.

+1 HS
Jman4ever's picture

The week he passed Esquire had a great article about him called the Gentle Giant or the Enlightened Man.

I think you can find it on their archive site for a small fee.

insert spiffy quote here

+3 HS
apack614's picture

Jeez, time really flies. RIP Big Guy

I can't wait to poop in the PL bathroom.

Marcus Hall's Middle Fingers's picture

Korey is one of my all-time favorites. Let's remember that something very positive has come from this tragedy. Thanks to his wife Kelci, along with the University of Connecticut, we now have the Korey Stringer Institute. They're working for a safer present and future for our athletes.

Donations can be made at

God bless Korey and the Stringer family.

+6 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

It is a shame that his passing was needed for every team in every sport to realize that players were not being healthy in camps and that coaches were pushing them too hard.


I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+3 HS
OSUStu's picture

It still turns my stomach and pisses me off to think about how he died.  As some of you have said, I hope that his death serves as lesson to athletes, coaches, and administrations so that it will not have happened in vain.

RIP Korey

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+1 HS
brbrbuckeye's picture

Korey was a man of men, a brilliant spark for our defense, and a force to be reckoned with. You are missed Korey, even to this day.


+1 HS
Jeremypreemo81's picture

I grew up watching Korey at Harding.  I saw him when the state title in '90.  The most dominat big man i've seen in person.  He did a lot for the community in Warren.  RIP Korey

+1 HS
Barnsey69's picture

His death was pure tragedy, and could have easily been avoided if being macho wasn't so important in football. His death did require the league, and football in general, to change the way they practice and play in the heat. But it still happens every year somewhere.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

+1 HS
PAWEST1202's picture

I was looking for some Korey Stringer Highlight film from Ohio State and ran across this gem from youtube (Thanks Youtube uploader David Baugh). The quality of the video is not great but the quality of the player jumps off the film

+1 HS
CGroverL's picture

Korey...I'm drinking a bottle of my favorite beer to you right now. I'd honestly shave a few years off of my life to have you sitting with me with your favorite brew in hand....You mean a lot to Buckeye Nation. We miss you. R.I.P. and you are a Buckeye forever. " O!-H!...I!O! " forever. You lead us on and every win our squad gets belongs to you, too.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



-1 HS
bakerjon's picture

Those 2 tackles were so good. They were my role models back in the day for OL. Loved watching them. RIP Korey

"You do what I cannot do. I do what you cannot do. Together we do great things"

andretolstoy's picture
+1 HS
SilverBullet-98's picture

God Bless to the Stringer Family ,teammates and friends.

Ounce a Buckeye... Forever a Buckeye!!!

"The Past Builds the Future"

+2 HS
BuckeyeChief's picture

Damn, 13 years, wow. Rest in Peace Korey!

"2014 National with it!!!"

OregonBuckeye's picture

Korey was an absolute giant in person.  Such a shame his flame went out so early.  Rest in peace Korey. 

+1 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

He likely didn't think that it was a serious thing.  A lot of guys hurl during summer conditioning and it isn't so much a macho thing to just deal with it as it is more just something that happens.  If dying on the practice field was a common event from heat that would be one thing, but everyone is hot, really hot, and you just work through it because it preps your body for the early season games.  I don't fault him for not thinking it was a life-threatening event at the time and asking for help sooner.

Mr. Stringer was an emotional player and a clutch player.  I have a lot of great memories of him.  The homecoming game against Michigan State when we drove down the field to win it at the end, and Korey standing on the field at one point and waving both arms to the crowd to stand up and cheer was one of my favorites.  He definitely was an emotional leader on the field, something you don't see that often from a tackle.  A very unique individual. 

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

Myc24's picture

All the sadness. RIP big guy. 

"Because I couldn't go for three!"  - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

buckguyfan1's picture

He made up the other half of the two greatest "Bookends" ever in college football.  Peace my man.


Some wounds won't heal.  Korey made watching the biggies fun.  You will always be missed.  RIP

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

nightmuse's picture

RIP Korey. Still feel for his wife and son. It is so hard when it take something like this to bring awareness at all levels of football.

I believe Korey can be seen at 3:33 double teaming with Orlando Pace on the Nike Promo Video.