Former Lakes High all-state running back Willis Wilson, a three-year walk-on at the University of Washington who transferred the past summer to the University of Hawaii, apparently drowned Saturday morning in an incident on a beach near Honolulu.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s story on a fire department report said that Wilson, 21, was among a group of three men and two women were were wading in shallow water. About 4:30 a.m., they noticed Wilson was not among them. A couple of hours later, HFD and Coast Guard rescuers found his body.
Wilson was a UW walk-on who in his freshman season of 2010 was named the Brian Stapp Special Teams Scout Player of the Year. He had a single carry for the Huskies in 2012, his last season at Montlake.
Wilson and a teammate, Josh Perkins, ran afoul of team rules in August 2012 and were kicked off the team. But coach Steve Sarkisian reinstated both a day later after a further investigation.
“We gathered some more information on the situation and it felt like the right thing to do,” Sarkisian told reporters at the time. “We met with some of the leaders on the team . . . Their punishment will be handled in-house and I think that they are thankful for the opportunity to get back, and I think that their teammates are happy to have them back.”
Wilson’s father, Jack, was a former UH football player. Another Lakes player, cornerback Dee Maggitt, was a teammate at UH.
Wilson was a backup for the Rainbows. On Monday in a Manoa campus intrasquad scrimmage, Wilson rushed nine times for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He was not among the 64 players who were part of the team that stayed in a Waikiki hotel ahead of Hawaii’s game Saturday against Army at Aloha Stadium.
Former Huskies fullback Jonathan Amosa tweeted his condolences:
Will never forget how many times you made us laugh no matter where or what the situation. RIP Willis. pic.twitter.com/dIVE3LGdVa
— Jonathan Amosa (@JonathanAmosa) November 30, 201