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Lawrence Phillips Ex-Rams Player Hosting Tribute to Running Back

EXCLUSIVE

0120-lawrence-phillips-GETTY-01Several of Lawrence Phillips' former college and pro teammates are expected to fly to California for the running back's funeral this weekend ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Multiple people who were close with Phillips tell us ... the funeral is set for Saturday morning with a tribute to the ex-NFL star set to follow at a restaurant owned by another former Rams player, Tony Zendejas.

We spoke with the former Rams kicker who never played on the same team as Lawrence -- but they had several mutual friends -- and Tony says he feels compelled to help pay tribute to Phillips. 

We're told Tony reached out to the family and offered to host the event at his restaurant in San Dimas -- the family accepted the offer.  

Lawrence died last week after prison officials say he was found unresponsive in his cell. Phillips' close friends and family say they do NOT believe he took his own life. 

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