Austin Worbington, R.I.P.: CMU Footballer Latest Colorado Drowning Victim

Earlier this week, we reported on what may have been the first Colorado drowning death of the year — a 23-year-old Fort Morgan resident who lost his life while kayaking in the South Platte River. Thus far, he doesn't appear to have been identified.

Then came word about the drowning deaths of brothers Jacob and Daniel Foreman, ages ten and seven, in the Little Thompson River.

We've now learned about a fourth tragedy in a matter of days.

On the evening of Wednesday, May 11, Austin Worbinton, a twenty-year-old Colorado Mesa University freshman who played football for the school, drowned in the Potholes, a popular natural swimming spot near Glade Park, on Colorado's Western Slope.

Worbington graduated from Falcon High School in Colorado Springs, where he also played football....

...and a member of homecoming royalty:

After he matriculated from Falcon, he moved on to CMU, located in Grand Junction.

But his days as a Falcon remained close to his heart, as indicated by the profile pic on his Facebook page...

...which also features numerous non-sports-related portraits, including this one:

As news of Worbington's death has circulated, Facebook feeds have filled up with tributes.

Here are three examples:

Wow.... RIP to one of the nicest kids I've ever met. Such a wonderful soul. Life is crazy. Please everyone send prayers to this kids family. He was a great player and friend to our program! I love you Austin Worbington!! God is receiving a great one.

RIP Austin Worbington. I love ya boy and am gonna miss your ass man. You are one of those kids no one forgets and is respected like hell. I can honestly say Austin was one of those people in this world that made this world a better place. I will never forget when we ruled the beer pong table for 15 straight wins and retired as champions. Good bye for now man I'll see ya again but in a better place.

To a young man who definitely lived life to the fullest...Austin Worbington you have touched MANY MANY lives and you will never be forgotten. You were so many things to so many people. The way you could make others feel important and special, the way you could get your team motivated, you had the ability to never meet a stranger, the way your smile could light up a room all of these things and so many more will forever be remembered. We lift your family and Falcon Nation in prayer....
We send our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Austin Worbington — and encourage everyone to be safe when venturing into Colorado's rivers, lakes and ponds.

Here's a report about Worbington from KKTV in Colorado Springs.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts