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Desert Pines football player's mom dies hours after Division 1 college commitment

Posted at 11:42 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 12:10:06-05

A day of triumph for a valley football player turned tragic Wednesday.

PJ Poutasi committed to play Division I football on National Signing Day. The Desert Pines High School standout signed with University of California, Berkeley.

RELATED: College dreams coming true for Desert Pines athletes

Hours later, his mother Vaeula passed away after a long battle with diabetes.

Poutasi says it meant the world to her to know he was going to college. He was by his mother's side when she took her last breath.

"She said, 'Yes, everything's going to be all right,'" Poutasi said. "That's the last words she said to me and I'll never forget them."

Poutasi opened up on social media, saying in a tweet, "I honestly thought you were going to stay with me forever but God had other plans."

His tweets have been shared thousands of times.

The story's gotten the attention of some high-profile athletes too, including Dak Prescott, the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.

Prescott wrote Poutasi, "She's proud of you. That's not even a question. Congrats on signing and be inspired."

Poutasi says he would give up his football career just to see his mother again.

"She was so beautiful," he said. "I just miss her."

When asked what his goals were for his first year on Berkeley's campus, Poutasi responded he wanted to get straight As.