Azeem Victor (Pomona, Calif./Pomona) wasn’t sure where the future would take him.
During the summer, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker was preparing to spend his senior season at a new school. He was adjusting to a new position at inside linebacker. He was working to string together the kind of performances that would land him a Division I scholarship.
At the time, it was hard for him to picture one day playing for a Pac-12 program.
“At the beginning of the summer, I didn’t know what was going on,” Victor said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
After giving a verbal commitment to Washington, Victor likes the way things have turned out.
“It means a lot,” he said. “They were the first Pac-12 school to offer me.”
When asked about what it took to play his way into a scholarship offer from Washington, Victor said, “I just had to believe in myself, believe that I could do it.”
The Huskies now have 20 players committed to their 2013 class. Victor originally committed to San Diego State in October but, when Washington offered him a scholarship, linebackers coach Peter Sirmon made a convincing case.
“It was coach Sirmon, the way he kept in contact with me and let me know how everything was going to fit into the plan,” Victor said.
Victor had a strong relationship with San Diego State assistant Tony White, which made the decision difficult. But, after listening to what the Huskies had to offer, the recruit couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“My initial thinking was that he would probably never decommit from San Diego State,” Victor’s father, Mike, said. “I thought UW had some ground to make up. I think the hardest part of him making the commitment to UW was decommitting from San Diego State and having to talk to coach White about it. That was the hardest thing for him.”
Mike has known Washington assistant Johnny Nansen for years, so he sent the coach his son’s highlight film. At first, Nansen didn’t know Victor was Mike’s son, but wanted to know more about the prospect in the video.
“Johnny Nansen was the same guy when he didn’t have a logo as he is with a logo,” Mike said. “That says a lot about him as a person and as a coach.”
It didn’t take long for the Huskies to extend an offer. After weighing his options, Victor picked Washington because of its academic reputation and the opportunity to play for Sirmon.
Victor said the Huskies plan to play him at inside linebacker. He played in a system this season that is similar to the one Washington runs. The only thing he needs to learn is the terminology.
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable with it,” he said.
The senior took the ACT on Saturday and he has already started breaking down Washington game film. He is also starting to train for his freshman season.
He isn’t satisfied with the commitment. He still feels like he has plenty to prove. Now that he has committed to Washington, he is shutting down the recruiting process. He plans to take his official visit to Seattle on Jan. 11.
Before ending an interview today, Victor was asked whether he had anything else to add about his commitment, to which he said: “Go Dawgs!”