'Remarkable young men': Community remembers Prince George's County football players killed in crash

Maryland State Police are investigating a crash that killed three men. All three were celebrated student-athletes at Wise High School in Prince George’s County.

One of the victims, Khyree Jackson, had just been drafted by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

For as well-regarded as the three young men were for their on-field accomplishments, those who knew Jackson, A.J. Lytton and Isaiah Hazel as kids in Upper Marlboro say they were all-around good people. Loved ones say it’s a tragic and tough loss.

"All of those young men were remarkable young men," Wise High School Athletic Director Jason Gordon said. "All of these young men have very unique stories, they definitely show what can be achieved if you stick to it, as long as you keep pushing, and do it the Wise way, you’re going to be fine." 

Steve Rapp is the current head coach at Wise High School but was an offensive coordinator when 24-year-old Jackson, 24-year-old Lytton and 23-year-old Hazel were students. He said they were close friends. Rapp shared photos with FOX 5. 

"The last couple times I’ve seen either one of them, they’ve all been together," Rapp said. "It was kind of like that in high school." 

The Vikings head coach released a statement Saturday saying he was crushed by the news, adding that Jackson had an infectious personality and would be a talented player.

RELATED: Vikings rookie Khyree Jackson dies in triple-fatal vehicle collision in Prince George's County

Lytton played at Florida State and Penn State, and was planning on playing at Bowie State this year, and hadn’t given up on his football dreams.

Bowie State University officials also released a statement over the weekend.  

"Bowie State University wants to express its deepest condolences to the families of Kyrhee Jackson, Isaiah Hazel and Bowie State student Anthony "AJ" Lytton who tragically lost their lives in a car accident early Saturday morning," said Aminta Breaux, President Bowie State University. "Our prayers are with all three families as they mourn the loss of their loved ones during this sorrowful time."

Bowie State head football coach Kyle Jackson said Lytton was "a bright spot" for the team. 

"A.J. will be truly missed," Coach Jackson said. "He was a great football player but an even better young man."

Hazel played at Maryland and UNC Charlotte. Those who knew him said he had a great sense of humor and a better work ethic.

"I think these three are a direct derivative of trusting the process, working the process and understanding that if you just keep striving, it’s going to find a way to work out for you," Rapp said. "For it to come to an end like this is just, it just doesn’t seem fair, man." 

Maryland State Police say Hazel was driving a car that Lytton and Jackson were riding in on Route 4/Pennsylvania Avenue near Forestville around 3:15 a.m. Saturday when another vehicle attempted a lane change at high speeds and hit the car these three men were in.

The car lost control, running off the road and the vehicle that made the lane change also hit a third car. No one else involved in the crash was hurt.

The crash remains under investigation. 

Maryland State Police did say alcohol may have been a factor in this crash but did not elaborate further.

State Police know who was driving the vehicle that attempted lane change they believe led to this crash. At this time, though, no charges have been filed.