Two coaches are sharing remembrances today of Nicholas Pasquale, a UCLA football player who was struck and killed by a car in his hometown of San Clemente early Sunday.
The 20-year-old formerly starred at San Clemente High School and was a redshirt freshman wide receiver with the Bruins this season.
He was walking on Camino de Dos Mares, east of the 5 freeway and west of Calle Nuevo, around 1:30 a.m. when he was hit by a Mercedes sedan. The driver stayed at the scene and was not charged with any crime or infraction, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Drugs nor alcohol seem to have been factors for the motorist, deputies added.
"Nick was the epitome of what a Triton was all about," Jaime Ortiz, the San Clemente High School football coach, reportedly told the San Clemente Times of Pasquale, who was a three-year starter and ball boy as a youth with the team.
The paper adds Pasquale was a key member of the 2011 San Clemente High CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division runner-up team.
"During his senior year he was the heart and soul of that team," according to Ortiz. "He was everything you wanted in a player."
"This is a tragic loss," UCLA head football coach Jim Mora reportedly told City News Service of the walk-on player who saw playing time in the Bruins' season-opening win against Nevada. "Nick was an outstanding young man who had a positive impact on everyone who knew him.
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"He was a great teammate who was loved and respected by his entire team. Our thoughts are with the Pasquale family."
UCLA Athletic Director Dan Gerrero also issued the following statement"
"The UCLA family lost a wonderful young man who represented the university, his team and his family well. Our hearts go out to the Pasquale family, and we will do everything we can to assist and support them, as well as his teammates, as they go through this unthinkable tragedy."