08/05/2012 08:02 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2012

Fred Matua Dead: Ex-NFL, USC Lineman Dies At 28

Former NFL player and USC football star Fred Matua died Sunday morning, as was first announced by the official Twitter account of the USC Athletic Department.

According to Garry Paskwietz of ESPNLosAngeles and other reports, the 28-year-old football player passed away on Sunday due to heart problems.

Matua started at USC as an offensive lineman for three years and helped the Trojans win 34 straight games, including the 2004 BCS Championship (which was vacated).

When the tragic news spread to his former USC teammates, some reacted on Twitter and sent their condolences.

Matua was selected by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and the Washington Redskins.

Several days before Matua's death, a Twitter account devoted to USC news, tweeted that the former Trojan had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack but was expected to make a full recovery after surgery.