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Report: Former Gopher running back Marion Barber III found dead

Barber had retired from the NFL in 2012

Illinois v Minnesota Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Forth Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that former Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Marion Barber III was found dead in his apartment Wednesday.

As of this writing, the cause of death is unknown. He was 38 years old.

The Plymouth native spent four seasons at Minnesota from 2001-04, following in the footsteps of his father, and ranks fifth in program history in career rushing yards (3,276). Barber and Laurence Maroney made history together, becoming the first pair of players from the same team to both rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. After forgoing his senior season, he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and played for seven years in the NFL before announcing his retirement on March 23, 2012.

The Star-Telegram notes that Barber has struggled since retiring. He was detained by the Mansfield police in 2014 and taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. Barber was also arrested in 2019 on two misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief over a 2018 incident where he was alleged to have damaged two cars while he was running in Frisco. And a year ago, former Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant lamented on Twitter that Barber was “down and out bad.”

Obviously our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.