South Carolina

Here’s what killed former Clemson football player CJ Fuller, coroner says

Coroner’s officials on Tuesday revealed the cause of death for former Clemson football player CJ Fuller.

The 22-year-old former Tigers running back died from pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis, Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley said in a release. His death on Oct. 3 came exactly two weeks after he underwent surgery on Sept. 19 to repair a leg injury.

Thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis are blood clots in the lungs and legs, Kelley told The State.

“Blood clots are caused when there’s inactivity,” she said. “There’s a number of factors to cause a blood clot. When you have inactivity on an active person, that’s a risk to getting a blood clot. The injury caused the inactivity, then he was home and having physical therapy.”

Kelley explained that anyone who undergoes surgery could be susceptible to blood clots, regardless of age.

“There’s a risk for it anytime you have surgery,” she said.

Details about how the injury happened weren’t available, but Kelley said it happened the afternoon of Aug. 12 at JB Owens Sports Complex in Easley.

“He was just playing football with friends and hurt his knee,” she said.

Fuller was a member of Clemson’s 2016 national title team and was the Tigers’ starting running back at the start of the 2017 season. He finished last year with 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while playing in all 14 games, with three starts.

He played high school football in Easley, where he helped lead the program to three straight playoff berths for the first time in school history and set the Easley rushing record with 2,090 yards as a junior.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Reporter Matt Connolly contributed.