Grant HS quartet talks ASU visit

Time will tell if 2011 prospects Viliami Moala, James Sample, Faigame Lopa and Darryl Paulo will be the proverbial package deal when they sign their LOI's. Yet, for the first time in the recruiting process the four Sacramento Grant HS players officially visited the same school. All four talked to Devils Digest after their trip and shared their impressions of their Arizona State visit.

The crown jewel of this group, if you will, was five-star DT Viliami Moala who is ranked by's as the fourth best defensive tackle in his class. The 6-3 340 Moala has a strong combination of speed and strength for a player in his position and will play in the U.S. Army all-American game in January of next year.

"I really liked the visit a lot," Moala said. "Coach Jean (Boyd) showed us a lot about the academics and a lot of schools we talk to just focus on the football and not the academics. At Arizona State they really stress out the academics part for us.

"The academics were really the part that impressed me the most about the visit."

Moala intently watched the Arizona State defense last night in their 54-9 win over Portland State and noted that the Sun Devils play a defensive system that is very much to his liking.

"Lawrence Guy really impressed me," Moala remarked. "The defensive coaches said that explosiveness is something they really stressed at defensive tackle and that I could help them that way if I came there. You can tell that all the D-linemen have good work ethic and that's why they have such good linemen."

The blue chip prospect admitted that the recruiting process is not always an enjoyable one.

"Sometimes you get all these coaches calling you on the same day and it gets hectic," Moala confessed. "You obviously want to talk to all of them and not turn down any opportunity. I don't have a favorite school and I'm open to every school that contacts me."

James Sample (pictured) is a four-star prospect ranked as the 21st best safety in his class. As a junior he collected 111 tackles, two forced fumbles, an interception, a touchdown and a fumble recovery.

"It was a good visit," Sample said of his ASU trip. "When we all flew out there we thought it's going to be just a big desert because that's what we've all seen before but when we came out here we saw it was a cool place and a big city.

"Our host Will (Sutton) and Toa (Tuitea) showed us around the city and we had a good time. We got to see the campus and all the facilities, training room, weight room, locker room, the indoor practice facility and the academic center."

The 6-2 195 Sample also shared his thoughts about the ASU win.

"I was impressed with the line play and the linebackers," Sample stated. "I like how they all fly to the ball and play fast. That was my main thing coming out here is watching how their defense plays in a game. I know they were good and now that I saw them in a game they are a top notch ‘D' so that made me change my mind about them."

The safety listed Washington, who he will visit in two weeks, as his top team followed by Cal and has offers from both schools. He's also planning to visit Oregon sometime in November. Arizona and Washington State are the other Pac-10 schools aside from ASU that Sample has offers from.

Faigame Lopa is ranked as the 35th best defensive end in his class. The 6-2 245 lineman is a deft pass rusher who with his strength could play inside at the college level. As a junior he was named All-Conference as he posted 100 tackles, 20 sacks, recovered six fumbles, forced three of them and blocked four punts.

"I liked everything about the visit," Lopa commented. "I loved how the coaching staff and players were all a family. They are very close and they want you to stay and make you part of their family.

"Man, everyone on that defense during the game was honing down and making plays. They were flying around…that defense was ‘bad' (laughs). Lawrence and #2 (Eddie Elder) played very well and #20 out there (Jonathan Clark) was really smacking people around."

Lopa currently has no other official visits scheduled this fall, but said that the schools who offered him, ASU included, have been recruiting him hard. Arizona, Oregon State and both Washington schools are some of the schools who already offered him.

"I would put Arizona State in my top three right now," Lopa noted. "Cal and Oregon State would be the other two. I like Arizona State now more than I did last week."

Darryl Paulo (pictured) was the only Grant High School player on the trip that doesn't have a Sun Devil offer but that is something he hopes changes this season.

"I really like the coaching staff at Arizona State," Paulo said. "The coaches are really cool with the players just like our high school coaches are. We got along with all the players too. I really like how the defense plays and how the linebackers fly to the ball.

"The coaches told me that they will talk to me in a few weeks after they watch my game film and see if they will offer me. They are not sure what position I will play, but I don't care where I play because I feel I can play anywhere. I would definitely love to play at Arizona State if they offered."

Paulo is listed as the 44th best MIKE linebacker in the class, a position that was foreign to him prior to his junior year. With his 6-3 240 frame he could play with his hand in the ground at the college level.

Paulo has offers from San Diego State, Washington State, Fresno State, Utah, and San Jose State.

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