Top Recruiter May Join Tide Staff

One of the nation's top college football recruiters is reportedly headed to Alabama, presumably in an off-the-field position, not as an on-the-field coach.

Sources tell that Tosh Lupoi will join the Alabama football staff in the area of Player Personnel, which is where Kevin Steele was before returning to the field as linebackers coach. Lupoi was most recently defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator at Washington under Steve Sarkasian.

Washington sources said he was a top recruiter for the Huskies. He was particularly effective in his home state of California.

He played at California (2000-05), spent two years as a graduate assistant, and became the defensive line coach in 2008. Lupoi was the youngest fulltime coach in the Pac-10 (at that time) at age 26. He spent four years on the Cal staff.

Cal's 2011 defense ranked No. 1 overall in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bears allowed a conference best 332.9 yards per game, were third in total sacks collecting 34, gave up the fewest first downs per game (17.4), and allowed the fewest passing yards per game (204.2). The Bears' 2010 defense also led the Pac-10 and ranked in the top 25 nationally in per-game averages for sacks (2.83 per game, No. 13), total defense (319.08 yards per game, No. 18) and pass defense (187.00 yards per game, No. 21).

Cal was also first in the Pac-10 in first downs allowed (217) and second in opponents' third down conversion percentage (34.7%). The team's pass efficiency defense and scoring defense, which held opponents to 17 points or less in eight of 12 games, were both third in the Pac-10, as well as 31st and 40th nationally.

Lupoi helped develop first-round NFL Draft picks each of the last two drafts in defensive lineman Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan, making Cal only the second Pac-10 team to have ever had defensive linemen selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in back-to-back years.

He was part of a recruiting team that signed two top 15 classes in his final two years with the Bears.

Lupoi was a defensive lineman for Cal from 2000-05. He played alongside three future NFL players, and led the Bears' defensive line in tackles in 2003 when he was the recipient of the Ken Cotton Award as the squad's Most Courageous Player as he played the final four games of the campaign with a broken right thumb.

Lupoi earned Pac-10 All-Academic recognition in 2005 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in American studies in 2005 and his master's in education in 2007.

The product of De La Salle High School, one of the most successful programs in the history of prep football, earned All-State honors and won a national title as a prep. His father, John Lupoi, played collegiately at Brigham Young and later was a part-time assistant coach at Cal.

Lupoi was accused of providing funding for tutoring for a Washington prospect, but earlier this year the NCAA ended that investigation with no penalties against Washington or Lupoi. Lupoi strenuously denied the charge, as did the family of the prospect.

Earlier this year Washington reached a $300,000 separation settlement with Lupoi and reassigned him within the athletics department. He had not joined Sarkasian, who left after the season to take the head job at USC, and was not retained as an on-fhe-field coach by new Huskies Coach Chris Peterson, who came from Boise State.

The settlement allowed Lupoi to leave the school without Washington having to pay the full buyout of his contract.

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