Oceanside DL Pledges to Sun Devils

Arizona State was the first school to offer Joita Te'i and the Oceanside (Calif.) El Camino defensive lineman rewarded the maroon and gold with a commitment on Thursday afternoon. Devils Digest talked to Te'i following his decision.

"I met with Coach (Bryce) Erickson today and I committed," said the 6-4, 265 Te'i. "It feels great to be committed to Arizona State. Coach Erickson told me that I need to work hard in the classroom and lifting in the off-season and that's what I'm going to do. I know I need to get better."

The lineman said that he can't put his finger on just one thing that excites him about the Sun Devils.

"It's everything," he commented. "The way they play, the environment, the way their fans are…I'm very excited to go there."

"It was fun and a great experience," ASU's newest pledge said earlier in the week about his official visit to ASU. "The support from the school and the coaching staff was big, and I really loved the weight room. It's state of the art. When I saw the players, I felt a little smaller, so I'll want to get a little bit bigger muscle-wise."

Devils Digest also talked to Pulu Poumele who was El Camino's first year head coach this past season, about Te'i who played both defensive end and offensive guard for his team, and he couldn't be happier for his player.

"I know he is going to represent Arizona State and El Camino with pride," Poumele said. "He's diligent in the classroom and the weight room. He's very quick for his size and he comes off the ball very well. He has that nasty attitude that defensive linemen need and he will fit very well with the Sun Devils.

"When I got here he jumped right at me in the spring with the way he played. I knew right away that he was a Pac-10 player with his size and the way he moves. Some schools really missed out on him."

In Tei's highlights, seen here , you can see the El Camino standout lining up at various spots, including middle linebacker, and Coach Poumele said it was for good reason.

"We tried to create some mismatches," Poumele explained. "Teams were running away from him, not at him, so we had to move him around so he could make plays. Every game he played he had a sack, tackle for loss or a quarterback hurry. He did a great job for us."

Te'i is likely to play defensive tackle at the college level.

Coach Poumele had much praise for the way Arizona State has recruited his lineman, and said that they were is constant communication with Te'i. "They did a great job making sure he was on track," Poumele commented. "He obviously felt very comfortable on the visit because they built a good relationship with him."

Washington along with other schools was recruiting Te'i in earnest ever since his ASU offer and subsequent visit, but the lineman indicated that he his solid with his pledge.

"I'm guaranteeing you that I will go to Arizona State," Te'i stated.

Joita Te'i is Arizona State's 10th known commitment of the 2010 recruiting class

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