Former Giants offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, 32, dies of heat stroke

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Former New York Giants offensive lineman Mitch Petrus died on Thursday in his native Arkansas. Officials blamed heat-related illness. He was 32. (AP)

Sad news out of Arkansas: Mitch Petrus, who played for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, died on Thursday night.

He was just 32 years old.

Heat-related illness blamed

Via the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Pulaski County coroner said Petrus died at 10:45 p.m. local time after being brought to Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock.

Medical records indicated that Petrus felt ill after working outside and in his family’s shop all day. The cause of death was listed as heat stroke.

There was a heat advisory in effect for much of Arkansas on Thursday, as the heat index meant it felt hotter than 100 degrees. In Lonoke County, where Petrus was working, temperatures were in the low-to-mid 90s.

From walk-on to standout

Petrus attended Carlisle High in the state, about 35 miles east of Little Rock.

He walked on at the University of Arkansas, playing tight end, linebacker and fullback his first two seasons, but in 2007 he tried offensive guard. He took to it so quickly that he was named All-SEC at guard that first year, and again as a redshirt senior in 2009.

He did not allow a sack in 2009.

In 2010, the Giants drafted Petrus in the fifth round. He would play in 23 regular season games over two-plus seasons, with three starts. Petrus was released by the Giants in 2012 and retired the next year, returning to his home state.

New York tweeted a brief statement on Petrus’ death: “We are saddened to hear of Mitch’s passing. Our thoughts go out to Mitch’s family and friends.”

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