Atofau talks Cougs and commitment

BELLEVUE'S JAMAL ATOFAU turned in a whale of a game in the state championship victory over Union High, racking up double digit tackles and making an impact on defense and offense. The future Cougar talks about his upcoming official visit to Wazzu, the new hire at the Cougars' rival, the 3A state championship game plus more.

Atofau said two Cougar coaches, co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Chris Ball and linebackers coach Travis Niekamp were scheduled to come by Bellevue High today.

This weekend, Atofau will be headed to Pullman for his official visit to Washington State, where he'll be joined by, among others, Skyline receiver Gino Simone and Kennedy cornerback Nolan Washington. The trio became close this past offseason, said Atofau.

Simone is verbally committed to WSU but said recently he will take other official visits. Washington made his verbal pledge to the Cougars on Friday.

"Me, Nolan and Gino are all real tight," said Atofau.

Atofau affirmed he'll be wearing crimson and gray on the football field next year.

With Steve Sarkisian named the new UW coach and reportedly hitting the recruiting trail this afternoon, Atofau said a potential Husky offer materializing wouldn't change his college destination.

"I'm a Coug...I'm very solid on Washington State," said Atofau.

ATOFAU THIS WEEKEND was in on 14 tackles in the state title game, a 35-6 Bellevue win over Union Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Of those 14 takedowns, three were for loss, he picked off a pass, busted off a 20-yard run and and also caught a pass.

"I had fun. I'm a state champion. That was my last game as a Bellevue Wolverine and I left it all out on the field," said Atofau.

Atofau said he may play a similar "walk-down safety" role at Washington State to what he played at Bellevue. In general, a walk-down safety plays a "force" role at times, where the safety in run support forces the ballcarrier to make a decision on which way to bounce, inside our outside, based on the corresponding defensive alignment.

Of course, the position also lends itself to making the tackle, as evidenced by Atofau's 14 sticks on Saturday.

"I like to roam," said Atofau.

Jamal Atofau profile and video

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