Connecting you with Alaska athletes.

FOOTBALL

College Football: Edefuan Ulofoshio named First Team All-Pac-12; Liam Hays part of College of Idaho team in NAIA final four; Zach Lujan selected for AFCA 35 Under 35 list

by | Dec 7, 2023 | Cover Story, Football

Edefuan Ulofoshio

From walk-on to captain to First Team All-Pac-12, Edefuan Ulofoshio of Anchorage has defied the odds with the University of Washington football team.

He made the unthinkable happen, leaning on his fire and desire to power his rise from sidepiece to centerpiece in Seattle and strengthen his status as an all-timer from Alaska.

Two days after Ulofoshio won the team’s 116th annual Guy Flaherty Award, the senior linebacker on Tuesday was named First Team All-Pac-12 for the second-ranked Huskies.

The former South High standout is just the second defensive player from Alaska to earn first-team Pac-12 honors – the first since Oregon State defensive back Reggie Tongue of Fairbanks in 1995.

Ulofoshio this year helped Washington (13-0) win the Pac-12 Championship and secure a berth in the College Football Playoff. The Huskies will face No. 3 Texas (12-1) on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl, with the winner advancing to the national title game.

He ranks second on UW in tackles (83), solo tackles (53) and tackles for loss (6).

UW captain Edefuan Ulofoshio of Anchorage brings down a Stanford rusher. Photo courtesy UW Athletics

Ulofoshio ranks No. 3 all-time among Alaskans in tackles (240) and No. 2 in sacks (7) at the Division I level. His 44 career appearances in the Pac-12 are the second most for a player from Alaska.

The 116th annual Guy Flaherty Award is the team’s oldest and most prestigious award, which is given to Washington’s most inspirational player and voted on by the players.

At College of Idaho, the Coyotes and Wasilla’s Liam Hays are going to the NAIA final four.

Liam Hays

Hays is a 6-foot-6 255-pound freshman offensive lineman for the Yotes, who upset No. 2 Grand View 31-17 in last week’s quarterfinals matchup in Des Moines, Iowa.

No. 10 College of Idaho (10-2) will face No. 3 Keiser (10-2) on Saturday in West Palm Beach, Florida.

It’s been a big week for the Hays family – Liam clinched a spot in the final four; Bella posted season highs of seven points and six rebounds for the Eastern Washington University women’s basketball team; and Layla, a junior girls basketball star at Wasilla High, received an offer from the University of California Berkeley.

At South Dakota State, offensive coordinator Zach Lujan of Anchorage was selected by the American Football Coaches Association for its 2024 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute.

The team’s former starting quarterback, Lujan has served as the OC for the past two seasons and has been a member of the Jackrabbits’ coaching staff for six seasons.

Last year the offense averaged 34.2 points and 384.6 yards, and those totals have increased this year to 37.9 points and 457.2 yards.

Zach Lujan

Lujan’s fingerprints are all over that success.

The Jackrabbits lead the FCS in passing efficiency (173.23), third-down conversion percentage (.563) and red-zone offense (.979).

Top-ranked South Dakota State (12-0) faces No. 8 Villanova (10-2) on Saturday in the FCS semifinals.

The former South High signal caller played for the Jackrabbits from 2014 to 2016 and compiled a 10-5 record as a starter.

In 2015, Lujan became the first and only college QB from Alaska to beat a Power 5 Conference team after he passed for 293 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-38 victory over Kansas of the Big 12.

Story made possible by:

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Sports Categories