It has been only 15 years since John Thierry was an active NFL player and, frankly, it feels like a shorter time than even that. Unfortunately, the former Alcorn State standout has tragically passed away at the age of 46 and the university announced the news on Saturday afternoon. He reportedly suffered a “massive” heart attack.

Thierry was a first round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1994 before playing for the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons over the course of a near-decade long professional career. He was the No. 11 overall pick by the Bears coming out of Alcorn State and the talented defensive end amassed 33.5 sacks during his NFL stint.

James “Big Cat” Williams shared the following with Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune following the passing of his friend and former Bears teammate:

“That’s the last time I saw him and he looked good, damn good for his age. We hung out that weekend. This is a shock. I feel bad for everybody.”

This is a sad and unfortunate day for the Bears family, Alcorn State and, quite obviously, the friends and family personally affected by the loss of what appears to be a great friend. Our prayers are with his loved ones today.

Former first-round pick has tragically passed away at just 46 years old Jonathan Daniel/Allsport
Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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