Wyoming recruit presumed drowned in California

Wyoming football recruit Naphtali Moimoi is presumed to have drowned after police on Friday called off a search off the coast of Half Moon Bay, California.

Moimoi, 18, was knocked off a boogie board by a wave last Thursday, according to the San Mateo County sheriff's office. Friends saw he was unresponsive before he was swept out to sea, and the surf prevented them from reaching him

Moimoi, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive lineman, attended Hayward High School in California and signed to play for Wyoming in December.

"We have been talking with Naphtali's family, and our hearts go out to the entire Moi Moi family at this extremely difficult time," Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said in a statement released Monday. "As a Cowboy Football family, we are all thinking of and praying for Naphtali, his family and his friends."

Friends and teammates gathered for a vigil at Moimoi's high school on Friday.

"He was a gentle soul, especially around kids," Hayward coach Justin Redemer told the San Francisco Chronicle. "That's why we were so comfortable with him being with our kids. That's the truly hardest thing about this tragedy. His family did such an amazing job raising such a great young man."