Trip Report - Sione Potoae

In time, Sione Potoae will be called on to be in the line of duty at the University of Washington as part of their football team. But for the last couple of weeks, he's was able to spend time with his father Aleki, who is set to resume his duty in Iraq as a First Sergeant in the U.S. Army, assigned to the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

Aleki was given an opportunity to come back to the states long enough to see Sione play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, as well as accompany him on his official visit to Washington, where his son will enroll next fall. Potoae was trying to surprise his son in San Antonio, but those plans were derailed after two unexpectedly met in the Dallas airport.

"It was great," Potoae told of his All-American experience, one where his West team beat the East 29-14. "I'd never been to Texas before," Potoae said. "Texas was beautiful. Just to be around those kind of players, it was just like a preview of the college level. It was a great experience, and to be able to share it with my Mom and Dad, it was great."

Then Sione went with his family to his official trip to Washington this past weekend, and it was the perfect way to cap an emotional holiday season for father and son. "It was great with my Dad and my family being there, that made my whole trip feel special," Potoae said. "And getting to know more of the campus and the program at U-Dub, it made my commitment more solid. I'm going to be a Dawg."

Senio Kelemete was Potoae's player host on his visit. "He had nothing but good comments," Potoae said of Kelemete, who switched from defense to offense last year and now is a starter on the offensive line. "He was talking about his transition from high school to college and giving me some pointers and tips about what to do and what not to do at the college level. I'm just going to use that advice to my advantage."

The UW coaches made it very clear where they envision Potoae being in their program seven months from now. "Coach (Nick) Holt said that I would be playing inside, the 3-technique," said Potoae. "And they believe that with my ability from high school to college I could be a starter. And in the few months before I go to college, I'll use that time to lift and get ready for the season and hopefully start."

Potoae is at 6-2.5 and 260 pounds right now, but expect that to change. "They told me to get my weight up to around 280," he said of the coaches' mandate. "That's where I want to be, so that's where I'm going to be. I normally am around 280, but it's harder for me to lose weight than gain weight - so that's not going to be a problem."

Potoae added that he's not taking any more visits, and he's set to sign with Washington on February 3rd.

Sione Potoae profile Top Stories