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August 1, 2013

Nosa Eguae: ‘My condolences go out’ to Polo Manukainiu’s family

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

With Emory Blake now playing for the St. Louis Rams, Nosa Eguae is the only Texas-born player on Auburn’s roster.

He wasn’t too startled when it was brought to his attention Thursday, as Eguae played up his mock disappointment.

Senior defensive end Nosa Eguae sent his condolences to the family of Polo Manukainiu on Thursday. Mainkainiu, a Texas native like Eguae, was killed in a single-car accident in New Mexico on Monday. (Photo by Todd Van Emst)

Senior defensive end Nosa Eguae sent his condolences to the family of Polo Manukainiu on Thursday. Mainkainiu, a Texas native like Eguae, was killed in a single-car accident in New Mexico on Monday. (Photo by Todd Van Emst)

“One of the freshman (Khari Harding) grew up in Irving, but he moved to Oklahoma,” Eguae said. “So I guess I’m the only one and that’s unfortunate. We need more Texas guys on our roster. I tell Coach (Gus) Malzahn that all the time, but hey, what can you do?”

But Eguae’s demeanor took a turn when Polo Manukainiu’s name was mentioned. Manukainiu, a redshirt freshman defensive end at Texas A&M, was killed in a single-car accident on Monday night in New Mexico, along with two other passengers in the vehicle. Though Eguae played at Summit High School in Mansfield, Texas — about 25 miles away from Manukainiu, who attended Trinity High School in Euless, Texas — the two never faced each other.

They came close on one occasion, though.

“Trinity is a powerhouse,” Eguae said. “We were close to them and were scheduled to play them my junior year in the third round of the playoffs. We were both undefeated teams coming in, but we got upset the week before, so we didn’t play them.”

All Eguae could think about were the people who have been forced to deal with Monday’s tragedy.

“My condolences go out to his family and everybody that has been affected by that situation,” he said. “My prayers definitely go up for him. It’s just a tough situation.”

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