FOXBORO, Mass. — Tyler Trent’s tragic death Tuesday hit New England Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley hard. Bentley shared a special bond with Trent from their days together at Purdue.

Bentley, who was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Purdue, memorialized Trent while speaking to reporters Wednesday in the Patriots’ locker room. Trent died Tuesday after battling a rare form of bone cancer.

“He was a hero. He was a hero to us all,” Bentley said. “A captain in many ways, how he lived. He did more in his time than many of us will do in our whole lives. He made an impact in so many peoples’ lives and became worldwide. The Scott Van Pelts of the world, TNT and that crew, just being able to get on the national stage and share his story, not just for the glitz and glam but just to get a motivation out to other people who might be struggling. During his toughest times, he was finding ways to make other people better rather than complaining about what he may have been going through, which was the worst time of his life.”

Bentley currently is on injured reserve. Patriots players on injured reserve typically aren’t permitted to speak to the media. There was an exception made for Bentley.

Bentley said he last talked to Trent three weeks ago and keeps in touch with Trent’s younger brother.

“Just looking to help in any way that I can,” Bentley said.

You can buy Trent’s book here. His goal was to raise $1,000,000 for “cancer research and families battling cancer.”

Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images