Conan loves Tucson, gives it a '10'

With the addition of JUCO Gabe Long the Wildcat coaches have only scratched the surface of what they wanted in the 2006 class for the defensive tackle spot. The coaching staff hosted two inside players this weekend on official visits and both of the visitors gave Arizona rave reviews.

Long Beach Poly defensive tackle/tight end Conan Amituanai was in Tucson over the weekend and came away even more impressed than his previous visit to the Old Pueblo.

"Oh man, my visit went real good," said the 6-foot-3 inch, 300 pounder. "It was fun hanging out with all of the guys and it was really fun getting to hang out with my boy Adrian (McCovy) again. Adrian and I grew up together and we played Pop Warner together. He was the middle backer on our team."

Since they grew up together, naturally McCovy was Conan's host but he isn't the only Wildcat that Amituanai knows.

"Oh I know Antoine Cason too," he said. "We played together at Los Alamitos when I was there and I hung around with him too. They are all good guys. Willie (Tuitama) was Mana's (Mikaele) host so we hung out with Willie a lot too. The whole trip was great, I liked it a lot."

Conan went on to say that he got along with all of the other recruits but he admitted that he and Mana ‘clicked' the most right away.

"Oh, Mana is a real good guy," he said. "We clicked right when we got off the plane and met. He is a lot like me you know. He doesn't talk about football all the time, he likes to talk about life and other things and he is just a fun person to be around. He is such a good person. We had so much fun there together, it was great."

Conan is being recruited by his uncle, Arizona defensive tackles coach Mike Tuiasosopo and got to meet new tight ends coach Dana Dimel.

"I met with coach Dimel, the new tight ends coach and he is a really cool guy," said Conan. "He is real laid back and is an easy guy to talk to. I thought he would be a good coach to play for. My Uncle is obviously a major part of why I like Arizona so much. I know that if I go there that he would treat me like any other defensive tackle on the field and I need that. He would not treat me different just because I am family. At the same time, since he is my uncle I know that if I needed anything he would take care of me because he is my uncle. I feel really good about Arizona."

Conan had already visited Cal, Washington and Oregon before heading to Tucson. He liked all of his visits but he did admit that one stood out above the rest.

"I would say that Arizona was the best trip," he said. "I liked all of the visits but at Arizona I know so many people and I just clicked with Mana and Adrian and coach Dimel. Because I got along so well with everyone down there I would say that Arizona was my favorite visit. I would definitely give my Arizona visit a ten, no doubt."

When it comes to making a decision Conan said that he wants to take some time and think things over.

"I really want to just come home and think about everything," he said. "I want to talk to my family and then just think about it and pray about it. I think I could have a decision by my birthday and that I Friday the 20th. I am not sure I will know by then but I could have my decision by then." will keep everyone up to date as the decision is nearing for big Conan.

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