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Football players pay tribute to UVa shooting victims during weekend games

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USC's win last night over UCLA may have helped push the Trojans into the College Football Playoff, but it was a particularly emotional evening for offensive lineman Bobby Haskins.

Haskins transferred from UVa, where he knew the victims of last week's tragic shootings.

"We've tried to certainly surround him this week and just be there for him," said USC coach Lincoln Riley, who gave Haskins a big embrace after the victory.

In the NFL, former UVa star Rodney McLeod will wear custom cleats during warmups on Sunday with the phrase "Virginia Strong," and, "Those we love don't go away."

McLeod wrote on social media: "Rest in Peace Young Kings."

Juan Thornhill, of the Chiefs, also wore custom cleats in tribute.

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The Washington Commanders will pay tribute with a helmet decal during Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

The Commanders joined Virginia college programs, as well as a number of other programs nationally, which did the same by sporting the UVa logo on their helmets.

The Commanders' three decals sport the numbers 1, 15 and 41, to honor football players Lavel Davis Jr, Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry.

In college, Washington State University running backs coach Mark Atuaia coached the players while at UVa.

Their opponent, Arizona, painted the 1-yard, 15-yard and 41-yard lines in UVa's colors.

Meanwhile in the day's biggest game in the commonwealth, Liberty and Virginia Tech opted to wear orange and blue uniforms as a tribute.

Liberty's band played "The Good Old Song" after a touchdown.

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Liberty Quarterback Kaidon Salter throws a pass against Virginia Tech at Williams Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.

Many other schools nationally also wore the UVa helmet decals.

mphillips@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6546

Twitter: @michaelpRTD

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