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Expect to Win: Austin Seferian-Jenkins

In August, the Washington Huskies received a BIG commitment from the BIG Gig Harbor wide receiver, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Although Austin may play wide receiver in high school, with his 6-7 258 pound frame, he will most definitely play at tight-end when he suites up for the Huskies. And as a tight-end, ASJ will make a welcome addition, as the position has been invisible within Steve Sarkisian’s offense. With a large frame, such as Austin’s, one would think that he may be a lumbering hulk, however, he is fleet of foot as he runs a self-described 4.63 40 yard dash. ” I like my speed. I think few people can run me down when I get into the open field, which I proved this week; I had a catch from the 29 and took it to the house and no one caught me.” And being a wide receiver in high school he also considers his hands and route running as strengths. With a man this talented one may wonder if he has any weaknesses at all, but Austin sees what he will need to improve before he becomes another in a long line of great Huskies tight-ends, “My weakness is probably my blocking. I’m probably not the best blocker. I have the strength to do it, I just need to learn the technique.” Since Seferian-Jenkins can already bench press 300 pounds, so it is safe to say that he will be just fine in the blocking department.

The Huskies will be happy to have Austin making the tight-end position a threat once again, but  Steve Sarkisian had to battle off hefty competition from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Texas, and the entire PAC 10. In the end, Washington and Texas fought tooth and nail before Seferian-Jenkins made his decision to stay close to home. Many fans want to know exactly how close it was between these two great programs. “It was pretty close. It was close as it could get. The tipping point was for my mom to actually watch me play. Playing professional football, you know, it’s a dream of mine and I have a chance to achieve it. I can go pro anywhere, that’s how I figured it, and what really mattered most to me was my family and the people that care about me. I just felt comfortable with talking with Coach Sarkisian about everything, I talked to him as soon as I got back (from Texas) and I just decided to be a Husky.” And Austin’s relationship with Steve Sarkisian and the rest of the staff didn’t hurt either, “Just the honesty I liked. He told me what I needed to work on, what I’m good at. They’re just honest people; they are going to chew you out but at the same time they are going to give you positive reinforcement. So when I saw that at practice, I don’t know, I just liked it.”

Austin’s Gig Harbor team is having a great season so far, “We are doing good. We are 5 and 1 and we got senior night this coming week and we are going to be playing Olympia. They are undefeated in league play and are undefeated just like us. It will be a test for us to see if we can stack up and see if we are league championship material.” With Gig Harbor rolling, Austin has played a big part in the team’s success, “I have 30 catches, I think, and 4 touchdowns.” But with his competitive nature, the big tight-end isn’t satisfied, “It’s alright. Yeah, I want twice as many catches and three times as many touchdowns.” This talented athlete, who also plays outside linebacker, is also anxious in competing on the basketball court for UW, “I get to play basketball at Washington too. That’s what I want to do, as well. Yeah, I will be playing basketball at the U.”

Steve Sarkisian has placed the mantra, “expect to win,” on the program, but have struggled to consistently live up to that billing. And with the Huskies struggling this season, Austin firmly believes that the Huskies will be on the national spotlight once again and wasn’t afraid to say so during his public commitment to Washington, “It was a statement that just needed to be made. I think that people that are committing to the Washington Huskies don’t want to be 0 and 12, want to lose games; we are commiting to win games and championships and Rosebowls. All the staff members up there they want to win championships. They don’t want to come in at second place. It’s always about competing and competing to your best ability. And when you have good athletes,  good players, and people competing at the highest level you’re going to be successful and win championships. And with a great coaching staff, that Washington happens to provide, it’s gonna happen.”

Washington has shown to be lacking the highest level of talent that PAC 10 championships are made of, but Austin Seferian-Jenkins let Husky fans know, during his announcement, that he would be bringing a few more five-star players with him, and while it may be coincidence, or not, that Kasen Williams committed to the Dawgs the week after, Austin continues to talk to the top talent that the Huskies will need to be competitive, “I just talk to people that are interested. I talk to James Sample, Vili Moala, DeAnthony Thomas, Greg Townsend, Antwuan Woods, Danny Shelton, those types of guys. I talk to them every once in a while. They all have a little bit of interest, but nothing is over until signing day.” And while Seferian-Jenkins may be giving the “talent” out there an ear full from time to time, he is also keeping tabs with some of the current commits and current players on the team, “I talk to Dexter Charles, Tani Tupou, I talk to Josh Shirley, who is on the team, and I talk to Kasen sometimes, but besides that I don’t really talk to any others.”

When Austin isn’t dominating on the football field, he likes to hang out with friends, play around on Facebook, watch movies, and play video games, specifically Civilization 3. “You can create anything you want, really, I mean, you can create your own army, not only that, but you can own a certain part of the world, and you get to conquer things, and that’s what I am about. They are really addictive” So Austin doesn’t just like to dominate on the football field, but needs to get his conquering fix on his off time.

The big tight-end isn’t worried about getting to the next level, and he knows that his hard work and preparation will get him to the University of Washington sooner than later. “I’m just going to continue doing what I am doing, keep working on my speed, keep working on lifting, and just working on my studies so I can get up there in March. Just keep doing what I’ve done to get me there. So nothing is really going to change, except for that I will be done playing high school football in a couple of weeks. I think that if I keep doing what I’m doing I’ll be fine and I’m not really worried about the transition and I think that everyone has a different transition to the game. I know it’s gonna be faster, but I will be able to deal with it. I’m not too worried about it.” And with March quickly approaching, he wants Husky fans to know that he is looking forward to his time in purple and gold. “I can’t wait to be their next year. I am excited!” I will speak for all Dawg fans, who are anxiously awaiting the tight-end position to mean something, by saying that we are excited too!

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