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Former Pro Bowl Offensive Lineman Dead At 76

Long shot of a Detroit Lions helmet at U.S. Bank Stadium.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 4: A helmet for the Detroit Lions is seen during warmups before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Rockne "Rocky" Freitas has passed away at the age of 76. The University of Hawaii was first to announce this heartbreaking news.

Freitas played college football at Oregon State. Once his stint with the Beavers came to an end, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1967 NFL Draft.

Despite being drafted by the Steelers, Freitas never played a single snap for the franchise. He did, however, go on to have an excellent career with the Detroit Lions. 

Over the course of his 10-year run with the Lions, Freitas earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. He eventually joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one season before retiring. 

After his NFL career ended, Freitas spent over two decades helping out the University of Hawaii. 

University of Hawaii president David Lassner released a statement on the impact Freitas made over the years. 

“Rockne’s heart was as big as the rest of him,” Lassner said. “Regardless of his job, he was always ready to step in and help with whatever needed doing. Among his many, many contributions was his leadership in establishing the Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao (Hawaiʻi Foundation of Enlightenment/Knowledge) initiative to help the University of Hawaiʻi on our path to become a model Indigenous-serving institution of higher education. The university extends our deepest condolences to Ala and the entire Freitas family as well as all who knew and loved Rockne.”

Our thoughts are with Freitas' family and friends at this time.