The preseason All-American was suspended in November. A source close Victor tells the Times that he has hired an agent and is preparing for the NFL draft.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Azeem Victor will not rejoin his Washington teammates for the Fiesta Bowl.
Washington coach Chris Petersen suspended Victor in mid-November after the senior linebacker was arrested on suspicion of DUI. A preseason All-American, Victor did not play in the Huskies’ final two regular-season games against Utah and Washington State.
Victor has been in San Diego training for the NFL draft for the past several weeks and has already signed with an agent, a source close the linebacker told The Times.
UW’s Keishawn Bierria said the arrest was “a wake-up call” for Victor.
“The last few games without Azeem have been tough,” said Bierria, a fellow linebacker and Victor’s best friend. “Everybody knows us and our relationship. At this point, we still talk about everything. But for him it’s the next journey. For me, I’ve got to stay here and be with my team. It’s definitely tough. That’s my brother.”
UW junior running back Myles Gaskin said Victor was a respected leader in the locker room.
“That was one of the first dudes, when I did step into that locker room, he was right across from me. He never looked at me like a freshman. He just welcomed me in (from) Day 1,” Gaskin said. “I love that dude. I talk to him now. Things happen. It sucks, it does. It’s not like the end of the world or anything like that. You live and you learn. It just hurts.
“It’s hard to see a good dude like that — I’m sure most people don’t know Azeem like guys on this team do. But just genuinely good dude. I’m sure people think (he’s) a big-ol’ mean linebacker, but he’s a big baby, big-ol’ softy. But he’s good people. It’s just hard to see someone go out like that. But it’s not the end for him. He’ll bounce back. He always does. It’ll probably put that much bigger of a chip on his shoulder at the next level, and I can’t wait to see it.”
Victor did not play in the Huskies’ College Football Playoff game against Alabama a year ago after suffering a broken leg in November 2015.
An Associated Press preseason first-team All-American entering his senior season, he was suspended for the season opener at Rutgers. By October, he lost his starting job at middle linebacker and was moved to the hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end position.