UCLA's Rahim Moore and Johnathan Franklin went to California Hospital Medical Center on Monday after learning that USC tailback Stafon Johnson had been injured in a weight-room accident.
The three were teammates at Los Angeles Dorsey High, where Johnson was two years ahead of Moore and Franklin.
"Rahim and I had to show our support for a brother, you can say a family member," said Franklin, a redshirt freshman running back. "This is a guy I grew up with, a guy I played behind in high school, a guy I learned from, as a running back and a person."
Johnson was injured when a bar with 275 pounds slipped from his hands and landed on his throat, doctors were told. He underwent seven hours of surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
Moore and Franklin got to the hospital while Johnson was in surgery.
"I talked with his mom and I've been praying for him all day," said Moore, a sophomore safety. "I couldn't sleep last night from tossing and turning. I was mad it happened. I know how much he loves football."