SDSU’s QB Liu Aumavae wants to win

Credit: 247 Sports

Credit: SDSU Athletics

Liu Aumavae packed his childhood in Maryland as a sophomore and moved to Provo, Utah. In the heart of enemy territory, the Aztecs recruited their newest quarterback. Aumavae will be on the move again in less than a month, reporting to the San Diego State campus in January.

Aumavae attended Timpview High School. The Thunderbirds went 16-8 with Aumavae under center and made it to the 5A state championship in 2020 and the quarterfinals as a senior in 2021.

He passed for 5,119 yards and 44 touchdowns over his two years with the Thunderbirds.  Showing terrific leadership, however, Aumavae credits his teammates for his success.

“I had a great offensive line this year,” Aumavae told EVT. “We pretty much returned everybody from last year. Those guys were great up front, and they allowed me to grow in my first year starting, and they continued it again this year. They made it super easy for me. I also had a great receiving core. We spent a lot of time together gearing up for a state title run.”

These teammates were all new to Aumavae when he moved to Provo. Meeting and developing relationships with them during the COVID-19 pandemic posed a challenge.

“Trying to get to know my teammates was hard due to the barrier caused by the pandemic,” Aumavae said. “We were able to get it done, especially once Utah opened up its restrictions.”

Now, Aumavae comes to the Mesa, facing the same challenge. Fortunately, he thinks that going through this process in high school will make the transition a little easier.

“Moving from Maryland to Utah was a huge culture shock to me,” Aumavae said. “Everything about Utah was different from what I grew up with, so I feel like that will prepare me for going to San Diego State. I’m excited to not only learn but also grow with everybody.”

Credit: Twitter

Bringing the Maryland native to San Diego took persistence and constant interest. Aumavae wanted to go to a school that wanted him, and he felt that San Diego State fit that bill.

“I wanted to go somewhere I was wanted and to a place where I would be taken care of, and they’d have my best interest,” Aumavae said. “I know that their end goal is to win, but I also know that SDSU will look out for me.”

Coach Sevai’i Eselu played the most significant role in recruiting Aumavae. His constant contact put pen to paper for Aumavae.

“He made sure that I came to San Diego State,” Aumavae said.

Aumavae is the product of a quarterback coach. He watched his father groom other quarterback prospects at a young age and now gets the same treatment. Even with this hands-on training, Aumavae is excited to become a smarter quarterback at SDSU.

“I’m most excited to go in and just learn,” Aumavae said. “I understand that there is a lot of football out there for me to learn. I can’t wait to work with coach Hecklinski and learn from him.”

It’s no secret to any Aztecs fan that the quarterback play has not been the team’s strength. He knows that there will be stiff competition every year to play under center for SDSU. Aumavae will bring a strong mentality into these competitions against his future teammates.

“My biggest thing is that I need to understand that we are all fighting for the same spot,” Aumavae said. “I need to have a little bit of an edge to me. I know that nothing will be given. There’s only one quarterback. I need to have that edge and be willing to do whatever I need to get on the field. I’m looking forward to getting better and then eventually putting my team in the best position to win.”

What Aumavae brings to the table is accuracy, something that has been lacking for SDSU quarterbacks. At Timpview, the offense did not require him to make plays with his legs. However, Aumavae wants to adapt to help San Diego State stay at the top of the Mountain West.

“I’m willing to do whatever is asked of me,” Aumavae said. “If I’m asked to run the ball, I’ll run the ball. If they ask me to throw the ball from the pocket, I’m fine there. I’m more focused on doing whatever is possible to win.”


At San Diego State, head coach Brady Hoke instilled a culture of family, and Aumavae is a family guy. He credits his parents for putting him in positions to succeed daily. However, his most important family member for his success is neither of his parents.

“The biggest thing is my aunt, Princess,” Aumavae said. “She keeps me level-headed all the time. She’s probably the biggest person in terms of not allowing me to get big-headed in the success that I have.”

Princess will not be making the move to San Diego with Aumavae. He is enrolling early and will begin classes at SDSU starting in January. Doing this will allow early relationships to build and progress towards becoming a better quarterback to be made.

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Dominic Stearn on Twitter
Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Junior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying Sports Journalism. He also hosts the "Devils Talking Padres" podcast and is the producer and co-host of the "Padres EVT Podcast.

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