Getting to Know...Jay Angotti
April 23, 2007
Life can be tough for a walk on at a Division I program, and Jay Angotti knows that. He didn't let that fact deter him, and as a sophomore he has already cracked the Huskies' two-deep charts. GoHuskies.com caught up to Angotti and got familiar with the walk on defensive back from Honolulu, Hawai'i.
GoHuskies.com: Are you getting a lot more reps than you thought you were going to get this spring?
Jay Angotti: 'We are definitely getting a lot of reps. We are only two deep in the defensive backfield, so every rep is crucial. I am really appreciating the opportunity to get all of those reps.'
GH: As a walk on, do you feel you are getting a fair chance?
JA: 'I think so. Every play I am out there, I have to prove myself with every single down. That is what I try to do each play, and I think it is a fair chance when they are giving me the opportunity to get on the field. The opportunity is there, I just have to play everyday.'
GH: Saturday is the Spring football fans and your first opportunity to show Husky fans a little bit more of what you can do in a game situation. How important is it for you to make an impression?
JA: This spring game is very very important to me. I'm trying to prove myself, because I'm a walk-on, that I can play football. That's all it is.
GH: You came from a football powerhouse Punahou in Hawai'i. How did that prepare you for what was in store for you at Washington?
JA: 'I think the main thing is the tradition that they have here at the University of Washington. Punahou, my school in Hawai'i had a rich football history, and that got me in store to come to another school and bring back the tradition here like it was at Punahou.'
GH: Having grown up in Hawai'i, what did you know about Washington?
JA: My knowledge of Washington was limited to Olin Kreutz and Ink Aleaga. That was pretty much all I knew about Washington.
GH: What made you decide to walk on at UW?
JA: I decided to walk on because I knew the coaching staff here. They're a great bunch of coaches. I knew about the education here and the school in general. This was a place where I wanted to learn. I wanted to take on the next step of my life by being in college. It was a good fit.
GH: Out of high school, did you have any scholarship opportunities?
JA: I did not. I was looking around, I went to camps and such. But not many coaches were looking for a small Hali defensive back from Hawaii. It's not really what they look for when they come down there. But I knew I could play somewhere, so I followed it.
GH: What do you think you've done in practice and with the football team that can make you stand out?
JA: I think it's just that I come to play every day. I give a hundred percent on the field and every down, I'm trying to prove a point, to make a statement for myself.
GH: What are some of your strengths as a football player?
JA: My strengths are my toughness and my football smarts, how I can read stuff out there.
GH: Are you learning a lot from the guys in front of you?
JA: Definitely. I'm good friends with Jason Wells, we live in dorm rooms down the hall, so the two of us are always talking football. A lot of guys here took me under their wings.
GH: Did you ever imagine, when you left Hawai'i that you'd be playing for Washington, a Pac-10 program?
JA: I never really thought about it. I took it one step at a time. Being a walk-on, I just had to stick to reality, and think that each day was going to be a new day. It's something that I had to prove to myself.
GH: How's it working with Coach J.D. Williams?
JA: He's a great coach. J.D. has already taught me so much about football and about life. He teaches you the main points of the game and what you really need to do to succeed in the game.
GH: How was the experience of walking out of the tunnel last year?
JA: It was amazing. The crowd up here in Washington loves football. It's just great to be in a place that loves it. It gets you fired up to play the game.
GH: What kind of expectations do you have for next season?
JA: I'm just excited to get on the field to play--special teams, whatever. I'm just excited to get out there and hit somebody and have fun doing it. I'm just helping this team get to be the best it can be.
GH: What did you know about other Hawai'ian players on the team like Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Donny Mateaki?
JA: I knew about Donny and Brandon [Ala] fairly well. They were both big players back in Hawai'i and big guys period. I kind of knew the name, but once I met them, they said `Let's do it.' It was a great thing.
GH: How do you compare Seattle to Hawai'i?
JA: Seattle is almost a second Hawai'i. It's pretty laid back, it's not as bustling as other places on the mainland. It's got a nice community feel to it. I like that.
GH: Do you surf?
JA: I body surf more than I surf on a board, but I love everything about Hawai'i. I love the beach, I love the mountains, I love everything.
GH: Are you planning on going back this summer?
JA: I'm planning on going back for a couple of weeks, but I've definitely got to get back up here to train.
GH: What's your academic focus here at Washington?
JA: Hopefully Business. Business is the direction I'd like to go in, and I think it could open a lot of doors for me.
GH: What do you like to do in your free time when you're not thinking about football?
JA: We don't have much of that, but I guess just hanging out with friends. Trying to meet new people. Everything is new to me up here so I'm still learning.