Rashard Anderson, former Carolina Panthers first-round pick and Jackson State star, dies at age 45

Rashard Anderson, a first-round pick for the Carolina Panthers in the 2000 NFL draft, has died. He was 45.

Anderson’s death was confirmed by the Panthers, who said he died in Mississippi on Wednesday, and by Jackson State University, where he was a star cornerback from 1996-99.

Anderson’s cause of death was unknown as of Thursday morning.

“Our condolences go out to his family and loved ones,” the Panthers said in a statement.

Anderson was selected by Carolina with the 23rd overall pick in the 2000 draft and appeared in 27 games – nine starts – for the Panthers. He was suspended for the entire 2003 season for violating a substance abuse policy and did not play in the NFL again.

Anderson helped Jackson State win the Southwestern Athletic Conference as a freshman in 1996 and led the Tigers to the 1999 SWAC Eastern Division title. He was joined by teammate Sylvester Morris (Kansas City Chiefs, 21st overall) as a first-round pick in the 2000 draft.

“Today is a sad day for the JSU family,” Jackson State vice president and athletic director Ashley Robinson said in a statement Wednesday. “Rashard was one of the best players in the history of our football program and an outstanding person. He attended our spring soccer game in April and was delighted with the program’s return to league status. Rashard will always be remembered by Jackson State University. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34242620/rashard-anderson-former-carolina-panthers-1st-round-pick-jackson-state-star-dies-age-45 Rashard Anderson, former Carolina Panthers first-round pick and Jackson State star, dies at age 45

Emma Bowman

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