Niumatalolo talks ASU pledge

Patience is a virtue and in ASU's case also a big reason why it has received a verbal commitment from Pasadena City College linebacker Kimball Niumatalolo on Sunday afternoon.

"Arizona State was willing to wait for me," said the 5-11 235 Kimball Niumatalolo. "They told me that they would wait until the spring (of 2012) for me if I needed time to complete my AA degree. I'm planning to finish in December and sign then but if I needed another semester they said it was OK and that they would still hold a scholarship for me.

"Overall, I had a good time touring the campus and the facilities today. I really like the coaches and you can tell that they are good people."

In 2010 Niumatalolo led Pasadena with 79 total tackles, 10 of them tackles for a loss. He also posted two sacks, two recovered fumbles and two forced fumbles and was selected as a member of the 2010 All-National Southern Conference's first team.

"I'm a fast player and even though I'm undersized I can still make plays because I have a lot of determination," Niumatalolo said. "I know that sometimes I am going against bigger players but that wants me to go harder at them. I was on a two-year mission and now I'm 22 years old. So being more mature than a lot of the players I play against, and being more coachable is something else that helps me.

"I really like the way Arizona State uses their linebackers because the coach lets your athleticism show out there and doesn't over coach you. I really like how fast that defense plays. You know what needs to be done and the coach lets you to go out there and do it."

The linebacker prepped at Kahuku High School on in Oahu, Hawaii. He said that he was receiving interest as a junior, but that suitors were hard to come by the following year.

"I tore my ACL in the beginning my senior season," Niumatalolo explained, "so schools stopped contacting me. When I came to Pasadena I knew I could play well after being out two years because I knew that if I didn't get injured in high school I was going to play at the D-I level. So I wasn't surprised how well I did my first year there."

USC is another school that had showed strong interest in the linebacker and Niumatalolo admitted that if his family had their wishes he would have pledged to the Trojans. However, faith is something that Niumatalolo doesn't take lightly and was another aspect about ASU that appealed to him.

"They have a Mormon institution on campus which is very big plus for me," Niumatalolo stated. "That was very important. I really like the campus and all the facilities too. It's much nicer than other schools I saw.

"One of the things that really impressed me is how cheap it was to live here compared to California (laughs)."

Niumatalolo remarked that aside from USC that most of the Pac-12 was pursuing him, as well as Arkansas and Mississippi. Ironically, as patient as the Sun Devils were in allowing the linebacker to graduate at his own pace, ASU's urgency regarding his recruitment made the maroon and gold stand out above the rest of the field.

"A lot of schools that they were interested me but Arizona State actually offered me earlier this year," Niumatalolo said. "They made a move and the other schools didn't. Me committing to them shows respect to the move they made."

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