05/02/2012 06:49 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2012

Junior Seau Dead: USC LB Starred With Chargers, Dolphins And Patriots In NFL (PHOTOS)

The world of sports lost a beloved figure on Wednesday when former NFL star Junior Seau was found dead in his home of an apparent suicide. He was 43.

Not long after the initial reports of Seau's death, past and present NFL players shared their love and support for him and his family on Twitter. Many tweeted their condolences and some shared stories about the linebacker who was often looked to as a role model.

Seau, the 1994 recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, is widely considered to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and will be eligible in 2015.

One of the most dominant linebackers ever to play at USC, Seau helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back Rose Bowls and won the 1989 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 2009.

Seau was drafted by the Chargers with the fifth overall selection in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft. He went on to play in the NFL for 20 years, 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers, three with the Miami Dolphins and four with the New England Patriots. He was selected the Pro Bowl 12 years in a row, was named First-Team All-Pro six times and played a crucial role for the 1994 Chargers team that went to the Super Bowl.

Linebacker Junior Seau Career Highlights