Vikings rookie Khyree Jackson, 24, killed in auto accident

Two other former college football players were also killed in the crash

Vikings rookie Khyree Jackson, 24, killed in auto accident

The football world received some terrible news Saturday morning with reports that three former college players and high school teammates were killed in an auto accident, including the NFL's Khyree Jackson. The former Oregon cornerback was a fourth-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft. He was 24.

Former Maryland and UNC Charlotte player Isaiah Hazel, 23, and ex-Penn State player Anthony "AJ" Lytton, 24, were also killed in the crash. All three players were alums of Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Prince George's County, Maryland.

The deaths were confirmed by Maryland State Police in a statement.

The accident occurred in Prince George's County. According to the police statement, Hazel was driving a maroon Dodge Charger, with Jackson in the front passenger seat and Lytton in the backseat, when investigators believe the vehicle was struck by another car while attempting a lane change at high speed.

The car carrying the three players was forced off the road and hit multiple tree stumps, per the report. A third car was also involved in the incident, but no one in the other two automobiles involved were injured. Authorities responded to the scene at 3:14 a.m. Saturday.

Investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor in the incident and charges are pending.

The three deceased were teammates in high school, leading the team to multiple state championships. The school expressed condolences on social media.

Jackson originally went to Arizona Western College to play football, but quickly returned to Maryland. Embarrassed that he dropped out, Jackson quit football for two years and worked at a grocery store.

After two years away from the field, Fort Scott Community College in Kansas recruited him to play. From there, he played two seasons at Alabama before transferring to Oregon for the 2023 season. In 12 games for the Ducks, he compiled 34 tackles with three interceptions and two sacks.

Oregon coach Dan Lanning also commented on the tragedy on social media, saying, "I will miss your smile. Great player, better person."

Jackson impressed coaches and observers in minicamp and OTAs with the Vikings with his performance in press coverage. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah praised the rookie for his resilience.

"I am absolutely crushed by this news. Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team. His confidence and engaging personality immediately drew his teammates to him," Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell said in a team statement.

"In our short time together, it was evident Khyree was going to develop into a tremendous professional football player," O'Connell added, "but what was more impressive was his desire to become the best person he could be for his family and those around him."

Maryland football honored Hazel, while Penn State football paid its respects to Lytton on social media.