Hau’oli Kikaha had already joined elite Washington Huskies football company by earning a pair of first-team All-America honors.
On Wednesday, he entered an even more exclusive club, becoming just the fifth player in school history to earn recognition as a unanimous All-American.
That distinction is achieved by players who are named first-team All-America by five services recognized by the NCAA — the Associated Press, The Sporting News, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the American Football Coaches Association, and the Football Writers Association of America.
Kikaha, who led the nation this season with 18 sacks, earned first-team honors from Walter Camp last week, and was named first team by the AP along with teammates Danny Shelton and Shaq Thompson on Tuesday.
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But Wednesday brought the big haul. The Sporting News, AFCA and FWAA each included Kikaha among their first-team selections, making him the Huskies’ first unanimous All-American since Lincoln High grad Lawyer Milloy in 1995.
The other three are kicker Chuck Nelson in 1982; defensive end Steve Emtman in 1991; and offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy in 1992.
Kikaha is also the 19th consensus All-American in UW history. The consensus tag is given to players who are named first-team by at least three of the aforementioned five outlets.
Shelton was named first-team by AP and The Sporting News, and second-team by Walter Camp. Thompson was named first-team by AP, and second team by The Sporting News.
HUSKIES ADD JUCO TRANSFER
Wednesday marked the first day of the junior college signing period, and the Huskies took advantage by signing safety Ezekiel Turner, a 2014 high school graduate who played his freshman football season at Los Angeles Pierce College.
Turner, listed at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, is rated as a 3-star prospect by Scout.com, and he chose the Huskies over an offer from Oklahoma. He will enroll at UW in January for winter quarter, and will participate in spring practices.
Turner, who is originally from Glen Burnie, Maryland, has four years of eligibility remaining to play three seasons. He played in seven games for L.A. Pierce in 2014, recording 35 tackles and an interception.
He qualified fully out of high school, according to a Scout.com story, but chose to play at junior college after receiving little attention from Division-1 schools.
NFL DECISION UPDATE
Thompson said Tuesday that he’ll decide after the season whether to declare for the NFL draft or return for his senior season, and coach Chris Petersen said he’ll help with that process.
“I’ll help Shaq and any of our players any way I can,” Petersen said. “You’ve just got to think about it in terms of, ‘OK, if this was your son, what’s the right thing to do for him,’ and I think when you think like that, it makes things pretty clear most of the time.”
So, too, do other circumstances.
“Each thing, each guy and each position is a little bit different,” Petersen said. “If you’re a running back, you’re getting the ball so much — a little bit like Bishop Sankey last year — as opposed to another position, (where) it’s better to come back and you can take that next step and elevate yourself in the draft. I think everything is different. Timing, all those things factor into it.”
Thompson is the only nonsenior on UW’s roster who is expected to declare for the draft. Fourth-year junior Marcus Peters, who was dismissed from the team in November, is also preparing for the draft and recently signed with the sports management company Relativity Sports, according to the Sports Business Journal.
Relativity Sports and agent Doug Hendrickson also represent Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who is a close friend of Peters and a fellow native of Oakland, California.