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Bishop Gorman alum overcomes obstacles to become NFL prospect

INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL scouting combine can be stressful for a college football prospect.

It can feel like a nonstop job interview between the constant prodding from all 32 teams, the interviews involved and the on-field workouts.

That’s all small potatoes compared to the situation Washington linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio, a Bishop Gorman product, faced as a youngster in Anchorage, Alaska.

Ulofoshio is in Indianapolis this week as one of hundreds of college prospects hoping to improve or solidify their NFL draft stock. But long before he became a Gaels star or embarked on a five-year journey that took him from a walk-on at Washington to a second-team All-American, the son of Nigerian immigrants was just a kid walking by himself to the bus stop for the first time.

Along the way, he encountered something that makes the stress of the combine seem like a dip in a luxury hotel pool.

“So I’m 6 years old,” Ulofoshio said, fighting back a laugh. “And ironically, this is the first time my older brother was sick when I’m not sick. And I’m begging my mom, like, ‘Can you just drive me to school today?”

The answer was no. His mom assured Ulofoshio he would be fine making the short walk from their home to the bus stop.

“And I’m like tripping out because this was my first time all by myself,” Ulofoshio said.

In his 6-year-old head, Ulofoshio was intent on getting to the bus stop as fast as he could. The focus caused him to miss some obvious clues something was out of the ordinary.

“So, I’m not noticing the moose droppings as I’m walking,” Ulofoshio said.

Suddenly, his instincts took over.

“I’m like super nervous and like, something is telling me to look back,” Ulofoshio said.

As Ulofoshio slowly turned his head to look behind him, he was astonished to see what was lurking.

“It’s literally like this 6-foot-7 moose behind me,” Ulofoshio said.

Ulofoshio did what any kid would do in that situation. He ran away as fast as he could. Only in his case, the speed and athletic ability that would one day make him an NFL prospect kicked in.

“I was literally — boom — to the next bus stop,” said Ulofoshio, who leaped onto the bus screaming for help.

He was in the principal’s office not long after explaining what happened. Then his mom called to make sure he was OK.

Without missing a beat, he told his mom: “I’m a big boy. I’m good.”

The early test in perseverance served Ulofoshio well. He grew into a standout at Bishop Gorman after his family moved to Las Vegas and then walked on at Washington.

A series of injuries there caused him to miss 14 straight games at one point between the end of the 2021 season and the beginning of the 2022 campaign.

What got him to Indianapolis was a breakthrough season in 2023. He recorded 94 tackles and three sacks. That earned him first-team All-Pac 12 honors and invitations to the Senior Bowl and scouting combine.

It was impossible for Ulofoshio not to reflect on the journey when talking at a podium this week.

“It’s just a blessing, man,” Ulofoshio said. “It’s a long time coming. Ever since I was in Alaska before I moved to Vegas, I always wanted to be in a scene like this. After a whole lot of hard work and dedication, it takes a village for a guy like me to get here. I’m finally here and just hoping to maximize this opportunity.”

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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