A player who recently left Kansas State’s football program has died, sources confirmed to The Mercury on Thursday. The player, Derick Newton, a former defensive lineman for the Wildcats, was 21.
Riley County police would not give details surrounding the death, but sources confirmed Newton died by suicide.
A police report Thursday said officers found a 21-year-old man dead at an apartment in the 2000 block of College Avenue in Manhattan during an investigation. A separate Riley County police document says police had taken a report that a 21-year-old man had kidnapped a 15-year-old girl; the other allegations were criminal sodomy and indecent liberties with a child. That report was filed at 9:59 p.m.; it did not identify either party, but multiple sources confirmed to The Mercury that the 21-year-old in question was Newton.
After unsuccessful attempts to reach Newton for questioning on those charges, police obtained a search warrant. While executing the search warrant, they found him dead at the residence.
Officials declined to provide further information, citing the ongoing investigation.
Many of Newton’s former teammates posted condolences on Twitter Thursday about his death.
“(L)ove Dnewt.. you will be missed brother...,” wrote sophomore fullback Jax Dineen.
“Too many goodbyes this year,” sophomore wide receiver Malik Knowles wrote. “Check on your loved ones.”
Bronson Massie, a defensive lineman, wrote he had a “broken heart” Thursday morning.
“Please God watch over us in times of need!” Massie wrote.
“This one hurt but imma stay strong for you bruh,” wrote freshman defensive lineman Kirmari Gainous.
“Rest in paradise Dnewt,” wrote graduate transfer tight end Briley Moore.
Defensive back Jonathan Alexander, who opted out of playing this season, also weighed in.
“I pray all my friends, teammates and all others get pas(t) any harmful thoughts that they keep to themselves,” he wrote. “(I) know it hurts feeling like the person in the mirror is all you have, but don’t be afraid to reach to me if y’all need me. #1Love”
Alexander wasn’t done.
“I’m literally shakin right now cause I told y’all people were struggling mentally,” he wrote, “and nobody took dat s**t serious........”
The most recent post on Newton’s personal Facebook account came at 11:58 p.m. Wednesday.
“Got issues I (c)an’t deal (with. Love y’all) folks,” he wrote.
Newton left the football program last month. It marked his second time departing K-State. He originally signed with the Wildcats as part of their 2018 class, redshirting that fall. But he transferred, heading to Butler Community College. He then signed with K-State again as part of the team’s 2020 recruiting class.
Before Newton entered the transfer portal Sept. 29, he had appeared in both of the Wildcats’ games (Arkansas State and Oklahoma) to that point.
He had one tackle and one quarterback hurry, both coming in K-State’s opening-game loss to Arkansas State on Sept. 12.