Sekai Asoau-Afoa has come full circle.
The College of San Mateo edge rusher — who hails from Tacoma and attended Fife High School — announced a verbal commitment to Washington on Monday evening. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder will arrive this summer and has three years to play two seasons in Seattle.
“Thankful to be able to put on for the City!” Asoau-Afoa tweeted Monday. “Blessed to be COMMITTED to the University of Washington!”
Asoau-Afoa is the eighth player to announce a transfer to UW this offseason — joining running backs Aaron Dumas (New Mexico), Wayne Taulapapa (Virginia) and Will Nixon (Nebraska), wide receiver Lonyatta Alexander Jr. (Arizona State), linebackers Cam Bright (Pittsburgh) and Demario King (Cerritos Community College), and punter Kevin Ryan (Idaho State).
Besides UW, Asoau-Afoa also earned offers from Buffalo, Tulsa, UAB, UTEP, Nevada and more. He was credited with 20 tackles and four tackles for loss as a rotational defensive lineman last fall.
But Asoau-Afoa — who originally signed with Central Washington before venturing to Dixie State and the College of San Mateo — took a circuitous route back home.
“I actually sat out the 2020 season,” he told 247Sports last week. “I came home and worked out and sort of found myself and what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted the opportunity to play at a higher level, so I got focused and now I have a 3.1 (GPA) and I will get my (associate’s) degree in a couple of weeks here at CSM.”
In the short term, Asoau-Afoa will add valuable depth to a Husky edge position that also features senior Jeremiah Martin, junior Zion Tupuola-Fetui, sophomores Bralen Trice, Sav’ell Smalls and Jordan Lolohea, redshirt freshman Maurice Heims and incoming freshman Lance Holtzclaw. But that group — which lost established starters Ryan Bowman to graduation and Cooper McDonald via a transfer to San Diego State — returns just 11 combined career sacks.
UW edge coach Eric Schmidt said this spring that a championship football team needs five capable edge rushers. He believed Tupuola-Fetui, Trice and Martin had solidified themselves in that rotation, while Smalls and Heims “are the next two guys we have to really, really develop and get those guys ready to play for the fall.”
At home with the Huskies, Asoau-Afoa will be looking to jump the line.