CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Three University of Virginia football players killed in an on-campus shooting were remembered Monday by their head coach as “incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures.”
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry were juniors returning to campus from a class trip to see a play Sunday night when authorities say they were killed by a fellow student.
The young men were journeying through various periods of transition in their sports careers. Davis was bouncing back from a season-ending injury. Perry had recently changed positions. And Chandler had transferred in from Wisconsin.
“They touched us, inspired us and worked incredibly hard,” head football coach Tony Elliott said in a statement.
Their absence was already being felt on campus, prompting American studies professor Jack Hamilton to tweet Monday that he was “just stunned and devastated and completely at a loss.”
Hamilton had Chandler and Davis as students.
“In my experience, star athletes often tend to hang out with other athletes (understandable, given the time commitment),” Hamilton wrote. “But (Davis) seemed to go out of his way to make friends with non-athletes.”
As the tragedy reverberated throughout the campus Monday, the head football coach was seen sitting alone at a table outside the university’s football offices, his head in his hands.
“They were all good kids,” Elliott said before getting into an SUV with several other coaches.
A couple hours later, teammate Aaron Faumui spoke briefly through tears.
“I don’t even know what to say right now,” said the college senior who plays defensive tackle. “I just want to say they were three young great men.”
The grief was felt widely, penetrating...