Q&A - Azeem Victor

Dawgman.com caught up with Azeem Victor, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound linebacker prospect from Pomona, Calif. and his father Mike about Victor's commitment switch from San Diego State to Washington. Victor is UW's 20th known public verbal commit.

Initial thoughts on the offer and what it meant at the time - "Well, it was kind of big for me because it was my first Pac-12 team that had offered me and basically it was talking to coach Sirmon, getting to know him and getting into a relationship with him and learning more about football and the school made me make my decision to where I am now."

On UW making up a lot of ground over San Diego State by having the position coach recruit him - "It really had a big impact, because getting to know him and getting to know a lot more about football and knowing what position I'm going to be at and getting a feel for the game for how I'm going to play was a great thing for me because that's something that San Diego State didn't do."

So SDSU didn't have a plan for you? - "They said they didn't know whether I was going to play middle or outside…they were saying they wanted me to play at outside rush. At the end of the day they didn't know where they wanted me to play."

So they were bringing you in as an athlete and figuring out the best place to play? - "Yeah."

So what's UW's plan when they bring you up to Seattle? - "They want me to play in the middle because I finish tackles and I'm physical."

This was your first year at linebacker, but it sounds like you were playing all the linebacker positions this year - "Yeah. I have a feel for it all now."

So when did your mind turn toward Washington? - "The relationship with coach Sirmon."

Was there a specific time when you knew Washington was for you? - "Not really."

When did you tell your family you wanted to go to Washington? - "It was earlier than a few days ago. My family has been very supportive, and at the end of the day it's my decision. My Dad and my Grandma and the rest of my family are happy wherever I go."

On talking to the SDSU coaches and their reaction to his change of heart - "They basically…they couldn't really say anything. I told them I didn't have a relationship with their linebackers coach and I didn't know where I was going to fit in their program and I was losing interest slowly."

What is it about the UW commitment and sticking to this one compared to San Diego State? - "The thing about Washington is that I know where I fit and I'm learning."

Do you feel comfortable playing in the middle? - "Yeah. I think I can make a big impact there."

Describe your game to me - "Physical."

Do you pattern your game after anyone in particular? - "No."

Nobody growing up that you idolized? - "Ray Lewis."

So what happens now that you're committed? - "I'm just in the gym working out, getting my grades right too. That's basically all there is to do before I get to Husky Nation."

And your grades? - "I'm doing good, actually."

So you're well on track with the Clearinghouse and everything like that? - "Yes."

But you aren't a mid-year graduate? - "I'm coming in July."

Are you the kind of guy that once you've made a decision like this do you turn recruiter? - "Yeah."

Anyone in particular? - "Not right now."

Have you ever been to Seattle before? - "No."

Is that a concern, knowing that you've committed to UW without having seen it? - "No. From what I'm hearing it's a very beautiful place."

Do you have any more in-home visits planned before the new year? - "Yeah."
Mike Victor

From a parent's perspective, tell me about your comfort level with how UW has recruited Azeem, especially since everything has happened pretty quickly - "Azeem's relationship with Tony White, the SDSU area recruiter, was really, really good. To be honest with you I thought it would be hard to tear apart. But part of the recruiting process is also an educational process. And one thing that I will say about the University of Washington…first of all I've known Johnny Nansen before he had a logo. I knew Johnny Nansen at Idaho. Some of Johnny's family are friends of mine. I played basketball with one of his relatives when I was at Long Beach State a number of years ago.

"They made a strong push and they were consistent. I liked the fact that when coach Sirmon came in. For me he was very informative with regards to what the University had to offer. One thing that really worked for me was that the University of Washington is number two in the Pac-12 in terms of graduating guys. There are 12 or 13 tutors dedicated for the football team - that's big. You break down ratios that's roughly 7 kids per tutor…that's pretty doggone good.

"And once again, what I liked about coach Sirmon is that he had a legitimate, true plan for Azeem. When he came in he told exactly what he expected, exactly what he was looking for. He was able to have Azeem conceptualize what he was going to be doing as a Husky.

"With that being said they made up a lot of ground and were very consistent. At the end of the day it's Azeem's decision. He has to be happy wherever he goes. I don't have to live in Seattle, I don't have to live in San Diego. It came down to this; I watched my son and I've only looked at this thing from the standpoint of a coach helping a kid get recruited. As I told coach Brown, I'm able to see things from a completely different perspective now because this is my child. And I've watched my son grow up and make hard decisions. He made a decision, in my mind, with his head and not his heart. I can only respect him for that."

Do you feel comfortable as a parent to commit to a school he has never seen before? - "Let me tell you something…only a degenerate fool would think Seattle is not dope. And that's the truth. I've been up there several times, and I know. I know that if he visited there he would not want to come home. I knew that. We've talked football with coach Sirmon, and what I like about him and what coach Brown likes about him…the transition for Azeem as a football player from Pomona High School to the University of Washington, when they got on the board to talk football he wasn't seeing hieroglyphics. Football-wise, there isn't a whole lot that's different…the terminology is going to be the biggest thing. I think that coach Sirmon can make a humongous difference in Azeem as a football player, a tremendous difference."
Azeem Victor Scout.com Profile

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