“RIP Brother”: Colorado Buffaloes and Fans in Deep Mourning as Boulder Loses 41YO Former Safety Clyde Surrell

Published 02/23/2024, 11:55 PM EST

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The Colorado Buffaloes program has been deeply saddened by their recent loss. 41-year-old Clyde Surrell, who played safety for the Buffaloes in the early 2000s, passed away on February 23, Friday, after losing a battle with an undisclosed long-term illness. 

Surrell had contributed on both the defensive and special teams during his time with the Buffaloes and had played a pivotal role during the Buffaloes’ Big 12 Championship in 2001. The loss of Colorado has been captured through their post on Instagram paying a tribute to the legend. His contribution will be remembered throughout the upcoming generations as fans continue to share their remorse on social media. 

The tragic news was confirmed by the University of College football. Their loss reverberated through their Instagram post with the caption, We are saddened to hear the passing of former Buff, Clyde Surrell. Sending our condolences to his family and friends. #GoBuffs”.  


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Surrell had an enduring impact on the program during his time in Boulder. As a senior in 2003, his excellence found its way through 55 tackles that propelled the special team toward success. He amassed five kickoff returns for 79 yards. However, he truly shined when he was a junior in 2002. During this season, he stood out with 71 tackles, 3.0 sacks, an interception along a forced fumble. 

Unfortunately, in the later chapters of his life, Surrell battled health issues and suffered strokes and a paralytic attack. Surrell is survived by his five kids and fiancé Maile, who developed a GoFundMe page for Surrell to acquire funds for his treatment. Tributes poured in from the University of Colorado’s NIL collective, Buffs4Life, as the cherished member of the Buffalo family left an irreplaceable void.   

A farewell note from fans 

Former Colorado offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus paid tribute to Surrell on social media. Both of them had played together briefly for a short span in 2003 when Polumbus was still a freshman and Surrell, a senior. Besides the direct members of the Buffaloes family, Colorado fans poured in their condolences that reflected the strong bond they shared with the player.


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Deeply moved by the cherished memories of Surrell, a fan’s heartfelt tribute, “Love you 20. Rip Brother” encapsulated the collective sentiment of loss.


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Fans shared personal stories expressing gratitude for Surrell for touching their lives, “Damn rip Clyde. U taught me in middle school that I had zero chance in playing pro ball. I’ve never seen anybody dominate at that young age. Thanks for all memories during recess.”


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Touched by Surrell’s impact on and off the field, another fan reminisced, “Miss ya bruh, we gonna 5ever miss ya Homie.” Such heartfelt tributes underline the legend’s influence as not just a player but as a source of inspiration.

Beyond statistics, it is the love and respect that Clyde Surrell has received that showcases his impact as an athlete. As a formidable athlete, his memory will live on as a testament to dedication and perseverance. 


Written by:

Soheli Tarafdar


One take at a time

Soheli Tarafdar is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. Soheli is fascinated by the fusion of teamwork, those split-second decisions, and the raw physical power of football athletes. She loves decoding the locker room rumors, the cryptic posts, and the behind-the-scenes drama brewing in the college football world.
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