Hawaii's athletics department confirmed Wilson's death.
A Honolulu Fire Department report says Wilson was among a group of three men and two women who were wading in shallow water at about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Fire officials and Coast Guard rescuers were called after the group noticed that the 21-year-old Wilson was no longer with them. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that his body was recovered a few hours later.
Wilson was born in Pearl City and attended high school in Lakewood, Wash., where he was an all-state running back. He transferred from Washington last summer after spending three seasons with the Huskies. He made the travel roster for the Rainbow Warriors' first three games.