Texas A&M said Tuesday that redshirt freshman Polo Manukainiu and a friend who was joining the Utah football team this fall were among three people killed in a single-car rollover crash in the high desert of northern New Mexico, stunning both schools just days before fall practices begin.
Manukainiu, a 19-year-old defensive lineman for the Aggies, and 18-year-old Utah recruit Gaius “Keio” Vaenuku were killed, officials from both schools said.
The wreck happened Monday evening on U.S. 550 near Cuba, N.M., as the group of five was returning from Salt Lake City to suburban Dallas, where three of them had ties to prep power Trinity High in Euless.
The southbound 2002 Toyota Sequoia drifted off the sagebrush-lined highway, New Mexico State Police spokesman Emmanuel T. Gutierrez said. The driver, 18-year-old Siaosi Salesi Uhatafe Jr., of Euless, over-corrected, causing the vehicle to lose control and roll several times.
Manukainiu and 13-year-old passenger Andrew “Lolo” Uhatafe died at the scene after they were ejected from the vehicle, Gutierrez said. Vaenuku was pronounced dead in an ambulance that responded to the accident.
The driver and his father, Salesi Uhatafe, were taken to the San Juan Medical Center in Farmington, N.M., and suffered only minor injuries. Siaosi Uhatafe was a stepbrother of Manukainiu and, like Vaenuku, also is a Utah recruit.
PENN STATE: The university’s ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Prosecutors showed enough evidence during a two-day preliminary hearing to warrant a trial for ex-President Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley, District Judge William Wenner concluded.
CLEMSON: Coordinator Brent Venables knows his defense can’t wait as long as it did during his debut season to improve.
He likes what he’s heard from off-season workouts. He’ll get his first true look Friday when Clemson opens fall camp.
RUTGERS: Announced that out Eric LeGrand’s No. 52 will be the first retired by the program that played college football’s first game in 1869.
It will take place Sept. 14 when Rutgers plays host to Eastern Michigan.
LeGrand broke two vertebrae in October 2010 while making a tackle on a kickoff return against Army. He was left paralyzed from the shoulders down and has had to use a wheelchair since leaving the hospital.
FLORIDA: Quarterback Jeff Driskel could miss the first two weeks of fall practice while recovering from an appendectomy.
LOUISVILLE: Ex-Auburn running back Michael Dyer, the MVP of the 2011 BCS national title game as a freshman, has been on campus, met with coaches and taken steps toward enrolling at the school.
He would be eligible to play immediately.
MICHIGAN STATE: Junior offensive tackle Skyler Burkland is quitting the program because of multiple injuries and will skip his final two years of eligibility.