Obituary for Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger as funeral set for Wednesday

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Jake Ehlinger (Courtesy Texas Athletics)

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to show that Ehlinger’s body was found near campus. KXAN first reported the body was found in the dorm.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Funeral services for University of Texas student and Longhorns football player Jake Ehlinger will take place Wednesday at Riverbend Church Home for Hope in Austin at noon.

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Ehlinger, who is the younger brother of longtime Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, was found dead near the University of Texas campus on Thursday, according to the Austin Police Department.

The Ehlingers said Tuesday there will be no livestream of the funeral and they are asking people to respect the family’s privacy. The service is open, but there will be a strict no cameras policy.

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The Ehlinger family released this obituary for the 20-year-old Jake who they say “had the biggest smile and never judged a soul.”

Jacob McAdams Ehlinger

(December 13, 2000-May 6, 2021)

University of Texas football player, McCombs School of Business second-year finance student, Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member, and a member of the Texas Silver Spurs, Jake was known for his larger-than-life joyful personality, grit, selflessness, and generous spirit of enthusiasm and encouragement.

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Jake never knew a stranger; whether you were meeting him for the first time or were a lifelong friend, he made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He had the biggest smile and never judged a soul, spending his life spreading joy. Jake was the middle child who was the glue of his family, with the ability to turn tears into laughter in a moment.

He was his dad’s little buddy, and they shared an unbreakable bond. His father’s spirit was alive and well in every part of Jake’s life. Tragic life circumstances created a unique opportunity for Sam and Jake to uplift and empower each other. They were each other’s biggest fans. Their mother, Jena, as well as their sister, Morgen, were the loves of Jake’s life. Everyone will miss his giant hugs, but no one more than Jena and Morgen.

Jake was a gifted and fierce athlete from the start and maximized his non-stop motor, no-quit attitude, and willingness to rise to any challenge. Captain of the Westlake football team and a well-respected linebacker at the University of Texas, Jake fulfilled countless dreams at both schools, including sharing the field with his brother, Sam, who played quarterback.

Jake Ehlinger, left, with his brother Sam Ehlinger, right (Courtesy Texas Athletics)
Jake Ehlinger, left, with his brother Sam Ehlinger, right (Courtesy Texas Athletics)

Westlake Head Football Coach Todd Dodge said, “Jake Ehlinger’s legacy will live on forever in Westlake Football. His pure toughness and willingness to do anything for his team is unmatched in the years that we’ve been together at Westlake.”

Longhorn Football Coach Steve Sarkisian said, “Being a Longhorn meant everything to him, and he truly embodied all that it means to be one. In the short time we were able to get to know him, he always was a joy to be around and gave everything he had in workouts, meetings, practice and in life.”

Jake’s friends meant the world to him and were a lifeline of entertainment and acceptance. The family cannot thank his countless friends enough for playing Chess, watching movies, hunting, listening to music, boating, praying with him, and loving him. Before sports and his academic and social lives, Jake valued his family above all else. Nothing was more important than his mother, Jena Cissel Ehlinger, his older brother, Samuel George Ehlinger, and his baby sister, Morgen Adeline Ehlinger. To honor Jake’s legacy, we hope to go forward with even a portion of the joy that Jake brought us.

Services for Jake will be held at noon on Wednesday, May 12 at Riverbend Church Home for Hope, 4124 N. Capital of Texas Hwy.

In lieu of flowers, the Ehlinger family is asking that donations be made to:

Fellowship of Christian Athletes
c/o Steve Vittorini
478 Live Oak Lane
Spicewood, Texas 78669

Or on this secure Fellowship of Christian Athletes webpage.

Alternatively, a Jake Ehlinger Memorial Scholarship fund has been established through The University of Texas and donations can be made.

Thank you for your care and concern. The family is beyond grateful for your support.

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2: 8-9

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

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