Malik Gant, a former defensive star for the New England Patriots, passed away at age 26. His cause of death is still uncertain. The ThunderCast Pod Twitter account broke the news initially. This account is dedicated to Gant’s alma mater, Marshall University Athletics. They also distributed a statement from Gant’s family:
“It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our cherished family member, Malik Gant. Malik was discovered deceased in Miami, Florida on May 25, 2023. We are devastated by this unfathomable loss and are in profound mourning.
“Malik Gant was a remarkable individual whose generosity, charisma, and unwavering spirit impacted the lives of many. Numerous individuals will remember him as a devoted son, cherished sibling, devoted grandson, valued colleague, and dear friend.
“His memory will live on forever in our hearts.” Gant signed as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots in 2019. However, he was placed on injured reserve a month before the start of the regular season.
Gant was activated by the Patriots during the 2020 offseason but was released by July. He tested out for the squad in August and October 2020 but was not selected for the active roster. Malik Gant was signed by the Patriots on August 10, 2021. However, he was released by the squad after two weeks. He never played in a regular-season or postseason game.
Malik Gant Made His Impact at Marshall
Tweeted by the ThunderCast podcast: “This is a truly devastating development. Malik will eternally be one of my fave Herd players. So versatile. So courageous. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but his smile was always present. Relax No. 29. You are greatly missed.”
Gant was a Thundering Herd safety and cornerback. He redshirted his first year and made his collegiate football debut in 2016. Gant made six tackles in 12 games as a redshirt freshman.
As a walk-on in 2017, he won a scholarship, inspiring then-head coach Doc Holliday to name him the team’s “spring MVP.” He had a career season that year, ending with 100 tackles (6.5 for losses), five pass deflections, and three quarterback hurries. His statistics earned him Second Team All-Conference USA accolades. Gant started 10 of 12 games and had at least 10 tackles in five of them.
He closed off his outstanding 2017 season by returning from injury and recording four tackles in the team’s victory over Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl. Malik Gant attended Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. This was the same institution that produced former NFL quarterback and fellow Thundering Herd alumni Byron Leftwich.