ATHENS, Georgia – Georgia football player Devin Wheelock and a recruiting officer were killed in a car crash in Athens early Sunday morning, the university confirmed in a statement.

Wheelock, a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, N.J., started two games at offensive tackle last season. Recruiter Chandler LeCroy was also killed, according to the university.

“The entire Georgia family is devastated by the tragic loss of student-athlete-footballer Devin Wheelock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy,” the university said in a statement. “Two more members of the football program were injured in the accident. They are both in stable condition and we will continue to monitor their condition with the medical staff.

“Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department. We ask everyone to pray for their families at this very difficult time.”

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and Bulldogs senior linebacker Nolan Smith reacted to the news on Twitter.

In a statement, Athens-Clarke County Police said the single-vehicle crash happened around 2:45 a.m. ET Sunday. Police said the initial investigation indicated that a 2021 Ford Expedition left the road in the outside lane of Barnett Shoals Road and struck two utility poles and several trees.

Police said Wheelock died at the scene. He was 20. LeCroix, who was driving, was taken to a local hospital and died from her injuries.

The 21-year-old passenger received minor injuries, the 26-year-old female passenger received serious injuries.

The crash happened hours after the Bulldogs celebrated winning the national championship with a parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated TCU 65-7 in the College Football Playoff National Championship in Los Angeles on Monday night.

“The UGA Athletic Association will work with our medical team, as well as our mental health and performance staff, to ensure we provide the best possible support for our staff and student-athletes going through this grief,” the university said in a statement. . “We are unable to comment further at this time, but we ask that everyone continue to keep those involved in your prayers.”

The 6-foot-7, 335-pound Wheelock played in all 15 games for the Bulldogs last season, including starting at right guard in wins against Tennessee and Kentucky. In 2020, ESPN Recruiting ranked him as the No. 39 guard in the nation and No. 17 in New Jersey as a senior at Paramus Catholic High School.

According to LeCroy’s LinkedIn account, she has worked as a recruiting analyst at Georgia since May 2021. She previously worked as a training specialist and sports marketing promotion intern at a sports association. A native of Toccoa, Ga., LeCroy earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management and policy from UGA, according to her LinkedIn account.

ESPN contributed to this report.

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