USA TODAY High School Sports

Escambia's Joe Anoai, seated with his mother, Lisa Anoai, signed with Georgia Tech. Standing from left, Sua Fatu, Principal Carl Leiterman, Vila Fatu, Suvari Anoai, Vanessa Anoai, Sumayah Fuavai, father Sika Anoai, Sonny Fuavai, Coach Kevin Rollins and Coach Ronnie Gilliland. (Photo: Pensacola News Press) Escambia’s Joe Anoai, seated with his mother, Lisa Anoai, signed with Georgia Tech. Standing from left, Sua Fatu, Principal Carl Leiterman, Vila Fatu, Suvari Anoai, Vanessa Anoai, Sumayah Fuavai, father Sika Anoai, Sonny Fuavai, Coach Kevin Rollins and Coach Ronnie Gilliland. (Photo: Pensacola News Journal)

Joe Anoa’i had 120 tackles as a senior defensive lineman at Escambia in Pensacola, Fla. He added 12 sacks, forced six fumbles and had two interceptions. He was named second-team all-state in talent-rich Florida and the defensive player of the year by the Pensacola News Journal.

The scholarship offers came in to play football, as you’d expect. When signing day in February 2003 arrived, Anoa’i picked Georgia Tech as part of a 20-member class for then-coach Chan Gailey. The 6-3 pass rusher had visited the Tech campus in mid-January and committed 10 days later.

It was the next stage of an adventure in football that…

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