Edmonds-Woodway High School graduate Ali Gaye, who’s joining the LSU football team as a defensive end for the 2020 season, will be an interested spectator when the Tigers take on Clemson in the CFP national championship game Monday night. (Ian Terry/The Herald)

Edmonds-Woodway High School graduate Ali Gaye, who’s joining the LSU football team as a defensive end for the 2020 season, will be an interested spectator when the Tigers take on Clemson in the CFP national championship game Monday night. (Ian Terry/The Herald)

LSU-bound E-W grad has “no doubt” about CFP title game

Ali Gaye is enrolling early for spring semester and will join the Tigers on the field next season.

Ali Gaye is a man of few words. But when it comes to whether he thinks the LSU Tigers will win the College Football Playoff national championship game, he’s as direct as it gets:

“No doubt.”

Gaye, an Edmonds-Woodway High School alum, will be joining the Tigers on the field next season. But for now he’ll be one of the more interested observers when LSU takes on Clemson for the national title Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Gaye, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound defensive end and a 2017 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway, was one of the most highly regarded junior college football prospects in the country this past season. As a sophomore for Garden City (Kansas) Community College, a school that’s produced NFLers like Corey Dillon and Tyreek Hill, he recorded 44 tackles (7.5 for loss), one sack, one forced fumble and two blocked kicks as the Broncbusters finished 8-3. He was ranked by 247Sports.com as the No. 2 junior college defensive end in the nation.

Gaye, who signed with Washington out of high school but didn’t qualify academically, committed to LSU last June. He officially signed with the Tigers when the early signing period opened on Dec. 18, and he’s traveling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Thursday to enroll for the spring semester.

So what’s it like heading to a school that’s about to play for a national championship?

“It’s a blessing,” Gaye said.

LSU is in the midst of a banner season. The Tigers are 14-0 and finished the season as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press poll. LSU routed No. 4 Oklahoma 63-28 in the national semifinals on Dec. 28, a game Gaye watched at his Seattle home along with his family.

“Oklahoma had no chance,” Gaye said.

Gaye said he’s been in constant contact with LSU’s coaches throughout the season, specifically with defensive line coach Bill Johnson and safeties coach Bill Busch. He’s also kept a close eye on the Tigers and their progress toward the national championship game.

“I’ve been able to watch most of the games,” Gaye said. “They were winning, just having guys make plays.”

Gaye said he’s paid particular attention to the play of the line in LSU’s 3-4 defense, a unit he’ll soon be joining — and a unit that will need reinforcing as two members of the defensive end rotation, starter Rashard Lawrence and reserve Breiden Fehoko, are seniors.

“They’ve been making plays, stopping runs and getting to the passer,” Gaye said.

“I just watch their technique and see what I can get from it.”

Gaye said he didn’t know whether he’d get a chance to meet up with anyone from the team before it leaves for New Orleans — the Tigers, who are 5.5-point favorites against defending national champion Clemson, are scheduled to depart Friday — or exactly where he’ll watch the national championship game.

But can he see himself one day playing for a national title?

“God willing.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Tucker Molina, right, tries to block a shot by Tony MacArthur during EVCC practice on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
EvCC men’s hoops seeks unprecedented 5th straight North title

After a delayed start to region play, the Trojans begin their quest for another crown on Wednesday.

Lake Stevens' Tyler Fouts lifts Glacier Peak's Gil Mossburg during wrestling on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
GALLERY: Lake Stevens edges GP in boys wrestling showdown

The Vikings beat the Grizzlies 42-31 in a matchup of two of the best 4A teams in the area.

FILE - Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks have fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and passing game coordinator Andre Curtis, the team said Tuesday., Jan. 18,  2022 (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)
Seahawks part ways with defensive coordinator Norton Jr.

Seattle never finished higher than 16th in total defense during his four-year tenure as coordinator.

Portland's Gabe Klaassen makes a goal past Everett's Koen MacInnes to win in the penalty shootout Saturday evening at the Angel of the Winds Arena on January 1, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Silvertips stand pat at WHL trade deadline

Western Conference-leading Everett decided not to make any moves and will go forward with its current pieces.

Winter prep sports roundup.
Prep results for Tuesday, Jan. 18

Prep results for Tuesday, Jan. 18: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

A variety of sports equipment on a black background including an american football, a soccer ball, a baseball, a baseball bat, a tennis raquet, a tennis ball, and a basketball
Vote for The Herald’s Athlete of the Month for December

Below are the candidates for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Month… Continue reading

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Jan. 10-16

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Jan. 10-16. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker compete in the rhythm dance program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Local Olympians Baker, Beighton nervously await games with COVID-threat lingering

Jean-Luc Baker and Sean Beighton qualified for the Winter Olympics, but 1 positive COVID test could derail their dreams.

Stanwood's Mack Hepper adds pressure to a shot attempt by Shorecrest's Parker Baumann Thursday evening at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington on January 13, 2022. The Highlanders won 88-68. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Prep basketball weekly update: Storylines from around the area

The Shorecrest boys are firing on all cylinders. Plus, a look at other highlights from last week.

Most Read