Born in Oskaloosa, Iowa on May 27th, 1988, Tyler Sash was practically born with a football already in his hands. He grew up watching the Iowa Hawkeyes and ended up getting a full ride scholarship to the school. He was also very talented in basketball and was offered scholarships for it too, but gave them up to pursue his dream of football.
He was picked in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL draft for the New York Giants as a backup safety. Although they won the championship his first year, it was still a tough year with 4 documented concussions in that one season. By his third season he suffered his 5th concussion and was cut from the team. It wasn't until after the fifth one, that people began to notice that he had changed.
His mother and girlfriend would notice how he would repeatedly forget basic things like his phone, keys, wallet. It eventually got to the point where he would tell the same story every 10 minutes because he couldn't remember that he had already said it. Labor Day weekend, his mother came to visit him at his home and saw him sleeping on the couch. She came back the next day to him in that exact position and found him dead. He was only 27 years old. The cause of death at the time was an accidental overdose of pain-killlers but they would find out that it was much more.
His mother, Barnetta Sash, donated Tyler's brain to be tested for CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy which is a brain disease caused by repeated trauma to the brain and is very common among NFL players. Tyler was found positive for CTE and his case was pretty rare for someone his age since most who experience CTE are much older and have played much longer. Junior Seau was another famous NFL player to have been found with an extreme case of CTE and a CAT scan used during the autopsy found that Tyler had a similar amount of trauma. Tyler although had a very tragic death, has paved the way with many others in helping to make sure that CTE and other concussion related illnesses will not affect athletes in the long run.
Above: The scan of Tyler's brain done during the autopsy. The black spots show the parts with CTE or trauma.