Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

July 30, 2013

Utah mourns loss of Vaenuku

The University of Utah football program is in mourning today after learning freshman defensive tackle Gaius "Keio" Vaenuku and two other passengers were killed in a tragic car accident in Albuquerque, N.M., in the early hours of the morning. Another incoming Utah freshman and passenger in the car-offensive tackle Salesi Uhatafe-survived, as did his father, Salesi, Sr. Uhatafe's stepbrother Polo Manukainiu (a redshirt freshman at Texas A&M) and brother Lolo Uhatafe, lost their lives in the accident.

"Everyone who knew Gaius is heartbroken today," said Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham. "He was the kind of young man who lit up a room and his future in football and life had no boundaries. Words cannot express our devastation over the loss of Gaius. This is a sad day not only for University of Utah football, but for everyone whose lives Gaius crossed or would have crossed but for this tragedy. Our hearts go out to Gaius' and Salesi's families, and to the Texas A&M coaches and players. We are praying for the speedy recovery of Salesi and his father."

Vaenuku, who asked to be referred to by his middle name Keio as a Ute, was the 2012 District 6-5A Defensive Player of the Year in Texas as a senior at Trinity High School. He was also named first-team all-district and to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Super Team first-team defense. He had 72 tackles, seven sacks and 13 tackles for loss as a senior while helping Trinity High to the area championship. The son of Sam and Sela Vaenuku also leaves behind four siblings.

Uhatafe, a teammate of Vaenuku at Trinity HS, was a 2012 first-team 6-5A all-district selection and was named to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Super Team first-team offense and the Tarrant County Terrific 25. As a senior, he allowed zero sacks, had 42 pancakes and 117 knockdowns.


FEATURED PRODUCT

Utah NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos UteZone.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.