Former Florida State quarterback Marcus Outzen dies at 46 of rare disorder

Known to NCAA fans as "The Rooster," his death was caused by complications from what the National Library of Medicine calls a devastating hyper-inflammatory condition.
Florida State University.
Posted at 9:56 PM, May 01, 2024

He was known for his fiery demeanor, the Tallahasee Democrat reported, after former Florida State quarterback Marcus Outzen died at 46 years old of a rare disorder called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH. The National Library of Medicine says the hyper-inflammatory condition can cause multi-organ failure and malignant inflammation and affects both newborns and adults.

A doctor's stethoscope.

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In a post to X, his son Colton Outzen wrote, "Rest In Peace ... I love you so much Dad."

Outzen, a Native of Fort Walton Beach, Florida played for FSU from 1996 until 2000, starting the final three games of the 1998 football season. He would play in the inaugural Bowl Championship Series game at the Fiesta Bowl and go on to become best known in football for his second career start when the Seminoles hosted Florida for a game with national championship implications, Scripps News West Palm Beach reported.

The Immune Deficiency Foundation said Outzen was just recently diagnosed with HLH, the Tallahassee Democrat said. The National Library of Medicine says the disorder presents in two forms, including primary HLH in early childhood and secondary HLH which presents in adults. Experts say accurate estimates of the condition's prevalence and distribution is hard to know because of imprecise diagnostic criteria and the presence of multiple confounding medical illnesses at the time of diagnosis, NLM says on their website.

Former FSU teammate Bobby Rhodes called Marcus a "good friend to a lot of people," saying, "People liked him on and off the field."