Snowy Lion Shrine Feature.jpg

The Nittany Lion Shrine stands lightly covered in snow on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.

Penn State lost a member of its football lettermen on Thursday night.

Former Nittany Lion defensive end Matthew Rice died at 41 after a long battle with brain cancer, friend and fellow letterman Aaron Maybin announced on Twitter.

A three-year starter and All-Big Ten selection at Penn State, Rice was signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2006, before embarking on stints with the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.

In 2007, Rice began having seizures, which eventually led to the identification of a tumor in his brain. The tumor required Rice two brain surgeries, according to his GoFundMe, with one resulting in the removal of a tumor from his frontal lobe.

That same year, Rice indulged in his artistic side under the nickname Mateo Blu. Rice started the Blu Art Foundation in 2007 to give back to his hometown community of Baltimore through art and education.

Rice is survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter, Nola.


If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.