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BYU football mourns the ‘tragic death’ of freshman offensive lineman Sione Veikoso

Coach Kalani Sitake, athletic director Tom Holmoe offer condolences to the Arizona State transfer’s family, loved ones

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Sione Veikoso

Sione Veikoso

Joey Garrison/BYU

BYU football coach Kalani Sitake announced the passing of Cougars offensive lineman Sione Veikoso, a transfer from Arizona State, on Friday night via Twitter.

“We are extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death of one of our brothers, Sione Veikoso,” Sitake wrote in a tweet. “His passing is heartbreaking to all of us. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family as we share in their grief. Our love for you is forever, Sione!”

A BYU football spokesperson confirmed the veracity of Sitake’s announcement on social media.

“On behalf of the entire BYU Football family, our thoughts and prayers are with Sione’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. Rest in Love, Sione. God be with you till we meet again,” read BYU Football’s official account.

Details of Veikoso’s passing were not immediately available. According to DevilsDigest.com, an Arizona State football-focused Twitter account, Veikoso “died while working a construction job during his winter break.”

The Cougars last played on Dec. 17, defeating SMU 24-23 in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Veikoso, a 6-foot-7, 305-pound redshirt freshman from Kailua, Hawaii, appeared in one game for the Cougars this past season, against Utah Tech.

He transferred to BYU last July after playing one year at Arizona State, appearing in one game in 2021 for the Sun Devils. Prior to his time in Tempe, he served a full-time mission in Manaus, Brazil, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

According to his profile page on BYUCougars.com, Veikoso is the son of Sione Veikoso and Wendy Kava.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe also posted some sentiments on Twitter Friday night.

“The BYU Football Family mourns the passing of our dear teammate and fellow Cougar, Sione Veikoso,” Holmoe wrote. “May his family and friends feel our love and faith at this most sacred and difficult time. Peace be with you now and forever Sione.”

BYU linebacker Max Tooley also took to social media to express his condolences.

“Heartbroken to see a teammate, roommate, and genuine friend leave this earth so soon,” Tooley wrote. “One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Rest in paradise Sione.”