Luke Falk is pulling out of the Senior Bowl game on Saturday because he wants to travel back to Southern California to attend funeral services for Tyler Hilinski.
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk withdrew from the Senior Bowl Friday to return to Southern California to attend the funeral service for his teammate, Tyler Hilinski, Falk’s agency, Rep 1 Sports, told The Seattle Times Friday morning.
In doing so, Falk will miss Saturday’s Senior Bowl game.
Hilinski’s funeral will be held at Damien High School in La Verne, Calif. this Saturday at 1:30 p.m, and all who knew Hilinski are welcome to attend, the quarterback’s younger brother, Ryan Hilinski, announced on Twitter this week.
Hilinski died on Jan. 16 in Pullman, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the Whitman Country Coroner determined.
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Falk attended the candlelight vigil for Hilinski in Pullman last Friday before flying out to Mobile, Ala. for the Senior Bowl this week. However, he felt strongly that he needed to also be with his teammates at Hilinski’s funeral this weekend, a representative from his agency said.
Falk, and fellow Cougar Cole Madison who was also at the Senior Bowl this week, handed out stickers of Hilinski’s number – three – and Falk also wore the No. 3 jersey at practices this week.
In media interviews at the Senior Bowl, Falk and Madison also spoke openly about their grief over Hilinski’s death, with Falk using his platform as one of the top quarterbacks going into this spring’s NFL Draft to call for more dialogue on the issue of suicide.
“I want people to remember Tyler as an amazing person he was, his bubbly attitude, the draw he had to people and people had to him,” Falk said this week. “I want people to start talking about suicide. I think us as men suppress our emotions and feel like we can’t express what’s really going on and how we feel. I think that we need the resources and have the trust that we can do that.
Falk has made a favorable impression on NFL executives and draft analysts all week. He has reportedly interviewed well and impressed teams with his maturity and football acumen. Falk’s strong showing this week in Mobile has raised his draft stock going into February’s NFL Scouting Combine.
Per his agency, Falk has accepted his invitation to the combine.