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2024 Sugar Bowl preview: Edefuan Ulofoshio leads the Washington LB corps

The son of Nigerian immigrants is living the American dream.

NCAA Football: California at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

For a program that has been defined by their offensive firepower, the Washington Huskies have a solid secondary and a steady stable of linebackers, none more impressive than Edefuan Ulofoshio, a 6’1, 236-pound senior linebacker from Anchorage, Ala.. His story, and his parent’s story, are a true testament of the American dream.

Edefuan’s parents, Steve and Joyce Ulofoshio, came to the United States in 1984 to escape the military dictatorship in Nigeria during the “War Against Indiscipline” when civil unrest and an attempted coup forced the Ulofoshio family to flee to Alaska.

Here in the States, his father earned an accounting degree from the University of Alaska-Anchorage and later founded his own company called the “Consumer Care Network” — a company that provides in-home care for the elderly and people with disabilities. His mother Joyce also furthered her education, receiving her PhD in psychology, while raising Edefuan and his four other brothers in Alaska.

“Coming somewhere where you are looking for a better opportunity, it minimizes the struggles,” Joyce Ulofoshio said. “You have to endure the hard work. You don’t see that as struggles, because you know where you’re coming from and appreciate the opportunity to make something better for yourself and your kids.”

Edefuan attended Bishop Gorman in Anchorage, where he helped lead his team to their ninth straight 4A state championship as a senior in 2017. He went on to finish his high school career as only a two-star prospect, according to 247Sports, but continued to use the lessons of hard work and dedication that his parents instilled in him at a young age.

After four years with the Huskies, Ulofoshio now leads the team in tackles with 67, has three sacks, and one intersection he took returned for a touchdown. PFF grades him with the highest overall defensive score on the team with 86.5 and lists him as the 18th-best linebacker in the nation.

Ulofoshio is a do-it-all type linebacker, lining up in both pass rush and coverage. Despite lining up in the box for the majority of his snaps, Ulofoshio is more than capable of covering slot receivers as he has done 71 times this season with a coverage grade of 91, the highest among all linebackers in the nation.

“Bring me your tired, humbled masses yearning to be free.”

The Ulofoshio family truly is a testament to the American dream, and now their son is exemplifying this work ethic instilled into him at a young age by becoming one of the most dangerous defensive threats to the Longhorns in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs.