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

Jackson High School is awarded the 2023 WIAA class 4A softball championship trophy in Richland, Wash., on Sat., May 27. (TJ Mullinax/for The Herald)
Jackson wins state title over GP after game called by weather

The Timberwolves win 5-1 to hoist their third state softball trophy since 2018 after a game that ended in unusual fashion.

Golf no art.
Scores after Round 2 of 92nd Snohomish County Amateur

Daniel Kim carries a three-shot lead into the final round on Monday at Everett Golf and County Club.

Lake Stevens’ Grant Buckmiller takes a peek at the clock as he runs to the title in the 4A boys 200 meter dash during the WIAA State Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State track: Lake Stevens sprinter Buckmiller blazes to multiple titles

Also, Kamiak’s Kalia Estes and Jaedyn Chase claim championships and more on local title winners and state placers.

State tournaments roundup for Saturday, May 27

State tournaments roundup for Saturday, May 27: SOFTBALL 4A State Tournament At… Continue reading

A Snohomish player slides safe into third during the 3A softball championship game between Snohomish and Peninsula at the Lacey-Thurston County Regional Athletic Complex in Olympia, Washington on Saturday, May 27, 2023. Snohomish lost, 4-1. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish falls in 3A softball title game, takes 2nd place

The Panthers make a run to the state championship tilt, but lose to top-seeded Peninsula 4-1.

Golf no art.
Scores from Round 1 of the 92nd Snohomish County Amateur

Koen Solis and Daniel Kim each shoot 67 and are tied for a three-shot lead after the opening round at Legion Memorial.

Kamiak’s Jaquan Means reacts to winning heat 3 of the boys 110 meter hurdle finals at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington on Friday, May 26, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
State track roundup: Kamiak’s Means wins 4A 110m hurdles title

Wesco runners finish with the top three times in the event, plus a roundup of the rest of the local action from Day 2.

Edmonds-Woodway boys soccer overpowered by No. 1 Lincoln

The Warriors fall in the 3A state semifinals 6-1 and will face No. 7 Lakeside in the third-place game at 10 a.m. Saturday.

State softball.
4A state softball roundup: Jackson, GP reach semifinals

Both teams survive quarterfinal nail-biters to keep state-title hopes alive; Kamiak remains alive in consolation bracket.

Most Read