Grant a three-year starter for Cowboys

Updated: May 24, 2005, 12:35 PM ET
Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State safety Vernon Grant was killed in a car accident in Texas, coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday.

Grant, a three-year starter at safety from Duncanville, Texas, died Monday night in the accident in Dallas.

A car was turning across traffic onto an Interstate 45 onramp when it was rammed broadside by an oncoming car, said Senior Cpl. Donna Hernandez, a Dallas police spokeswoman. The Dallas County medical examiner's office and school officials said Grant died later at a hospital. Hernandez said the other motorist had minor injuries.

Hernandez said no alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident.

"This is a terrible loss for everyone associated with Oklahoma State University and the football family," Gundy said in a statement. "Vernon Grant was a terrific young man who had an infectious smile and a positive approach to everything he did. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and teammates."

Grant, 22, started all 12 of the Cowboys' games last season and had 67 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He led Oklahoma State with nine tackles in the Alamo Bowl.

After arriving in Stillwater in 2002, Grant made a quick impact. He started the final seven games of his freshman season and finished fifth on the team with 62 tackles. He made eight more starts and played in all 13 of Oklahoma State's games in 2003, finishing second on the team with 89 tackles. An engineering major, he also was a success in the classroom with a 3.25 grade-point average.

"OSU has lost one of its finest student ambassadors," athletics director Harry Birdwell said in a statement. "Vernon Grant's smile could light up a room and his enthusiasm made him a great and dependable teammate. The irony of this is that it was Vernon Grant who taught us all the importance of inner strength and faith in time of personal tragedy."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press