Ah You and You: UW Backer Tries to Live Up to Namesake Grandfather

Dan Raley

Miki Ah You knows what it's like to lose a football season.

Before Tuesday.

For Kahuku High School on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, he suffered a knee injury in his second game as a senior linebacker and he was done.

It was that sudden. 

Just like Tuesday.

Nearly two full years later, Ah You's recovery time has been extended another four to six months, not his choice.

The University of Washington redshirt freshman had to be watching in dismay as the Pac-12 Conference postponed the coming season this week because of pandemic fears, delaying games until at least January.

Ah You so far has been just another name on the Husky roster. Yet he's hardly another name.

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound backer is the grandson of Miki "Junior" Ah You, long considered the godfather of Hawaii football as the first player from the islands to make it big on the mainland.

"It's great having that name on the back of your jersey whenever you play," young Ah You said. 

Junior Ah You, 71, was a two-time All-WAC defensive and a second-team UPI All-American defensive end for Arizona State in 1970 and 1971. He earned co-MVP and MVP selections in the Peach and Fiesta bowls. 

Spurning the New England Patriots, Ah You spent a decade in the Canadian Football League, was chosen Grey Cup MVP in 1974 and later received induction to the CFL Hall of Fame. He also played in the USFL.

The Huskies' Ah You, when healthy, looks like he's got some of grandpa's talent.

"Miki Ah You has shown some big-time flashes," UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski marveled this past April. "He plays very decisive. He plays fast." 

Before he went down with his ACL tear, Ah You turned up in a highlight video that was mesmerizing for all of the open-field heroics. 

Ah You returned a punt for a touchdown. Ah You ran back an interception for another score. Knocked down passes. Knocked down ball carriers. No. 10, the number he also wears in Seattle, was all over the field. Only that injury could stop him.

This is the 64th profile of a returning Washington football player, each of which can be found on the site by scrolling back. While the pandemic has interrupted and delayed team activities, Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated offers continuous coverage of the team.

Junior Ah You, who owns the Tita's Grill eatery located across the street from Kahuku High, which he attended, likes what he sees in the third-generation family member who wants to be part of the family reputation. 

"That makes me proud to know that he loves who he is and the family he comes from," the grandfather said. 

Miki Ah You received a scholarship offer from BYU, where his father played, when he was just a ninth-grader, demonstrating the lure of the family accomplishments. He also has countless uncles and cousins named Ah You who have played college football over the past two  and a half decades. 

He was offered by 15 schools in all, but wanted to play for Washington all along. After getting hurt, he was so worried that his full ride might been in jeopardy he had his father call the Husky coaching staff to make sure. The linebacker enrolled early last year but he was asked to redshirt to ascertain he was completely healthy.

Ah You joins a position area that needed someone like him in 2019 — a player who can run sideline to sideline and blow up a lot of plays. He teams with returning sophomores Edefuan Ulofoshio and Jackson Sirmon, and redshirt freshmen Daniel Heimuli, Alphonzo Tuputala and Josh Calvert, a promising group that should transform the second row once everyone can compete again. 

Ah You chose the Huskies over his grandfather's alma mater ASU, his father's BYU, Nebraska, Mississippi and Oregon. The Polynesian Bowl, held for top-ranked Pacific islanders, selected him even though he couldn't play out of respect for his talent.

The bad news is Ah You won't get to show what he can do in 2020. The good news is his time coming. The genes are there. The Huskies might have something here. 

SUMMARY: Check out the highlight reel. It's unlike most others. He gets up the field like former UW All-American linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven. He seems to thrive on contact. 

GRADE (1 to 5): Ah You draws a 3 because of his inactivity. Buy hey, he's Junior's grandson, which means that number is likely going up.

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