"We're stunned to hear about this tragedy," said USC sports information director Tim Tessalone. "This is a great loss. Mario was a wonderful young man of high character and he was one heck of a kicker. He was a key ingredient in our success these past few years. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Trojan Family go out to the Danelo family on this sad, sad day."
Trojan head coach Pete Carroll was out of town and could not be reached for comment.
Danelo was the starting kicker for the Trojans in 2005 and 2006. In his career, he hit 26-of-28 field goals, including a streak of 15 consecutive successful field goals, and 127-of-134 PATs. This past 2006 season, he hit 15-of-16 field goals, including a pair of 26-yarders in last Monday's Rose Bowl win over Michigan, and was 44-of-48 on PATs. He made 4 field goals in the Washington game and 3 at Arkansas.In 2005, he set NCAA season records for PATs made (83) and PATs attempted (86). His 10 PATs made against Arkansas was a USC game record. He also was 11-of-12 on field goals.
We will post more information on this tragedy as soon as it is made available.