Utah Defensive Tackle Will Visit Sun Devils

Last year, Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City produced one of the most coveted western region prospects in Stanley Havili. His cousin, Simi Fili, is already following in the same footsteps in terms of attracting the attention of many programs. The defensive tackle is indeed a hot commodity, and talked to Devils Digest about his recruitment with the maroon and gold.

These days the 6-3 320 Simi Fili is extremely excited, since the start of football season is just weeks away. His strong enthusiasm is being challenged however, by Arizona State's offensive line coach Brent Myers, who's recruiting him for the Sun Devils. "He's always fired up when I talk to him," commented Fili. "He's never dry and always has new stuff to talk about. I like him a lot. The ASU coaches are very honest and they talk to me like a real person. They don't just come down, look at me and say ‘wow what a player' and never sit down to talk to you. Coach Myers is straight forward and doesn't beat around the bush. I like that a lot about him."

On July 30th, Fili will embark on a three-school excursion, so he can unofficially visit his top three schools. "I'm gonna visit Tennessee, Nebraska and Arizona State," he said. "Arizona State is my last stop because it's closest to home. I'm definitely coming down there." He added that he would love to visit the Sun Devils officially later in the fall, and aside from the aforementioned schools, Oklahoma State is another program he would like to trip to some time in the future.

The relative proximity of Tempe to Salt Lake City, compared to the other schools pursuing him, is a factor that shines a very positive light in ASU's direction. "In life you repeat a lot of the same things, but going to school out of state will be something new," explained Fili. "I know the state of Utah up and down and sideways. Utah and BYU try to get me out there for trips and I tell them ‘I know you guys already.' I like to explore and see what's out there."

"I always wanted to play out of state," continued Fili, "and Arizona State is just on the other side of the border. My parents can drive or fly and it's not that far. It would be nice to have them come to my games. So, Arizona State is definitely one of the schools at the top of my list."

The defensive tackle was an All-State second-team selection in 2005. His impressive strength is evident by the fact that he has benched 185 pounds 73 times. He stated that he's not sure about his overall stats from his junior year ("I don't worry about the numbers, I just go out and play."), but claims to have had 12.5 sacks last season. "I'm powerful up front, but I need to work on getting faster so I can chase down the quarterback and running back," said Fili of his skills. "I feel that I got faster than last year, so I'm anxious to play."

Devils Digest talked briefly to Cottonwood's head coach Tom Jones, who spoke of his defensive star in very glowing terms. "He moves very well for being such a strong, physical player," commented Jones. "He's very active upfront, plays hard every down, and is a solid player that's also a leader on his unit." Jones also mentioned that Fili has impeccable character and is in good shape academically.

Many schools are trying to charm Scout.com's 8th overall 2007 defensive tackle. Fili admitted that one factor in particular would probably sway him away from one school, and closer to another. "Everybody says the sane things, but for me it will come down to the love of the coach," he explained. "Some schools I feel the program, I feel the campus, but I don't feel the coaches. You have to love who you play for. You don't play for the stadium – you play for the coach and work hard for him. So, the coaches will be the biggest reason in choosing a school."

Just like many other blue chip recruits, Fili is in no hurry to make a verbal commitment. "I do want to make my decision after my five trips," he said. "It will be hard to make a decision early because some schools schedule trips only in December. I really want to evaluate everything about the program, because that's where I'll be for the next four years."

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