Padgett was a player for the school's football team. He was found dead in his off-campus apartment on Friday after missing a morning team workout.
The cause of death has not been determined.
According to Fox News, former Owls head coach David Bailiff said, "Its news that absolutely hits your heart and brings tears to your eyes. You reflect back on the last conversations you had with him. The big gut hug he gave you when you walked out the door. Shocked, saddened."
"Can't imagine what his parents and sister are going through because they're such a close family," added Bailiff. "Great kid, great player, team leader who influenced everyone around him. He would have played at the next level," Bailiff added.
Bailiff further said that Padgett would have played in the NFL.
Meanwhile, the new coach at Rice, Mike Bloomgren, said the team was devastated by the news. (ANI)