Ed Jasper, the former All-East Texas standout as a Troup Tiger who went on to star at Texas A&M and play in the NFL, has passed away, family and friends confirmed on Friday.

He was 49.

Jasper was known for his intense play on the football field as a defensive lineman and his nice, affable nature off the field.

Jasper was a giant not only in person but in stature around the Troup area.

“Ed was a tremendous asset to the Troup community,” Troup athletic director John Eastman said. “Ed and his brother Shane (president of the Troup ISD school board) have a tremendous compassion for the school and the community. It is a loss for our school and community. He will be missed.”

Many friends on Facebook and Twitter posted “Gone too soon.”

At Troup High School, he was All-East Texas for three years, plus Defensive Most Valuable Player.

Jasper was also a member of the 1992 UIL Class 2A state basketball championship team at Troup.

Troup basketball teammate and friend Joey Martin, now head basketball coach at Temple High School, posted on Twitter: “Lost a Brother, Best Friend, HS Teammate Legend….It hurts not being able to talk to you again…RIH Big Ed Jasper.”

While at Texas A&M he was the recipient of the 1996 Aggie Heart Award, one of the most coveted honors given to a Texas A&M player.

The Aggie Heart Award is presented to a senior who has completed his eligibility and displays the intangibles such as effort, desire, determination, competitiveness, accountability, leadership and courage, according to the school. The Aggie Heart Award winner is the player who extends himself to the fullest every time he dons his football gear, regardless of the situation, be it in practice or a game. The Heart Award is voted upon by the players of the football team.

At Texas A&M, Jasper was a member of the 1993 Southwest Conference champions as the Aggies were 10-2, falling to Notre Dame 24-21 in the Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas. The Aggies were ranked as high as No. 7. In 1994, the Aggies were 10-0-1 but were ineligible for the SWC title.

In 1995, Jasper was part of the A&M team that defeated Michigan, 22-20, in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. The Aggies were 9-3. The squad was 6-6 in 1996, the first season in the Big 12.

He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 1997 NFL Draft, the 198th overall selection.

He played in 1997-98 for the Eagles, followed by stops with the Atlanta Falcons (1999-2004) and the Oakland Raiders (2005). He helped lead the Falcons to the playoffs in 2002 and 2004 (reached NFC Championship).

During his time in the NFL he had 17 sacks, 247 tackles and four forced fumbles, playing in 132 games.

Edward Vidal Jasper was born Jan. 18, 1973, in Tyler.

Services are pending.

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TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.