Victor, already jogging in his recovery from a broken leg, says he will try to sway teammates such as Budda Baker and Sidney Jones to return with him for their senior season.
ATLANTA — Washington star linebacker Azeem Victor won’t play in the Peach Bowl against No. 1 Alabama. He will still play a small role for the UW defense.
Out for the year with a broken leg, Victor says he’s supporting and encouraging his teammates leading up to Saturday’s College Football Playoff semifinal game.
“Obviously you want to be able to play in these two games, but I’ll be back sooner rather than later,” Victor said at Peach Bowl Media Day inside the Georgia Dome on Thursday. “Being out here supporting my brothers is the main goal right now. Everybody has minor setbacks. Being out here is definitely making me happy and just being here with the guys, I’m having fun.”
Victor said he’s been proud of his replacement at middle linebacker, redshirt freshman DJ Beavers.
“He’s unbelievable,” Victor said. “Just seeing the way he’s playing right now, I’m happy. I feel like a big brother. I’m just excited for him. He’s doing what I expected him to do while I’m not playing. I’m very proud of him.”
Victor suffered a broken tibia bone in his right leg in the second quarter of the Huskies’ loss to USC on Nov. 12. He had surgery the next day.
The good news, he said, was the injury “was a straight bone break” — no ligament damage — and he’s on track in his recovery. He has, in fact, already started jogging.
Victor confirmed he will return for his senior season in 2017, and he plans to try to convince several of his high-profile teammates — John Ross III, Budda Baker and Sidney Jones among them — to bypass the NFL draft and return to UW too.
“I’m a recruiter now, trying to get them to come back,” he said.