Orlando McDaniel, former NFL player, dead from coronavirus

A 59-year-old former NFL player died Friday night after contracting the coronavirus, a report said.

Orlando McDaniel, who starred at LSU as a wide receiver and hurdler before a brief professional career with the Denver Broncos, recently fell ill after visiting family in Washington D.C., his former LSU track coach Dennis Shaver told The Advocate.

McDaniel died due to complications from the virus, Shaver said.

McDaniel lived in Dallas-Fort Worth, where he was the beloved executive director and founder of the North Texas Cheetahs girls track club.

“This truly breaks my heart,” Rudy Macklin, a former LSU basketball player, wrote on social media. “One of our Broussard (Hall) frat brothers is gone. This virus is not like the common flu; it’s 10 times more lethal.”

It is unclear where McDaniel caught the virus, which continues to wreak havoc on the world. As of Monday night, the nation’s capitol had 400-plus coronavirus cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the bordering states of Maryland and Virginia each had at least 1,000 cases. Texas, which is considerably bigger than all three, had around 2,500 cases.

McDaniel always was a multi-sport athlete, and in 1977 he ran the nation’s fastest high school time of 13.5 seconds in the 120-yard hurdles.

In four seasons at LSU, McDaniel earned multiple accolades as a hurdler. On the football field, he caught 64 passes for 1,184 yards and three touchdowns. As a senior, he averaged 17.5 yards per catch which ranked second in the SEC.

He was drafted by the Broncos in the second round of the 1982 draft, but appeared in only three games that year without any catches. No other stats were listed for him in the Pro Football Reference database, and is not clear what may have cut his football career short.

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