HONOLULU (AP) - Authorities say Hawaii running back Willis Wilson was found dead off of Oahu's Sandy Beach after a wave overcame him in shallow water.
Hawaii's athletic department confirmed Wilson's death.
"We are very saddened by the news of Willis' passing," Rainbow Warriors football coach Norm Chow was quoted as saying on the school's athletic website. "He was a very fun-loving young man, who was well-liked by his teammates."
A Honolulu Fire Department report says Wilson was among a group of three men and two women who were wading in shallow water at about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Fire officials and Coast Guard rescuers were called after the group noticed that the 21-year-old Wilson was no longer with them. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that his body was recovered a few hours later.
Wilson was born in Pearl City and attended high school in Lakewood, Wash., where he was an all-state running back. He transferred from Washington last summer after spending three seasons with the Huskies. He made the travel roster for the Rainbow Warriors' first three games, but didn't appear in any contests.