After a successful football career at Lake Washington High School, I was offered a full
scholarship to USC. Yet, I decided to turn it down and follow my lifelong dream of playing for the Washington Huskies. The gamble of being a walk-on paid off, for after a redshirt year of perseverance and hard work, I was awarded a full scholarship. My efforts during my redshirt year were rewarded at the end of the year banquet when I received the Bob Jarvis “Inspirational Walk-On” Award and the Travis Spring “Freshman” Award.
During my senior year, I was voted as a captain, earned my fourth letter, and was a second-team All Pac-10 selection. I was voted on CoSIDA District VIII Academic All-American squad for the second straight year. As a senior I led the Husky defense with 95 tackles and finished 11thamong the Pac-10 defensive players in tackles. I registered 22 tackles in the season opener with Arizona State and had double-digit tackle games with Arizona, (10), Stanford (10), Notre Dame (13), and Oregon State (11).
Every football player has memorable moments. In 1993, when playing on special teams, I earned the “Big Hit” award from the coaches for my play against California. I knocked the ball loose during an on-sides kickoff that led to Washington’s winning touchdown. In 1994, my first shot in the starting line up, I made a solo tackle on Eddie George (1995 Heisman Trophy winner) at the one-yard line to stop the scoring drive, thus saving the game for UW. I scored nine tackles that game and recovered a fumble. The coaches named me defensive player of the game against the Buckeyes.
At the year-end banquet my senior year, I was awarded the prestigious “Most Inspirational Player” Award. My five years as a Husky football player will remain in my heart forever as being both memorable and character-building.
Thank you for the photos, Joanie Komura.