Long Beach Poly defensive tackle/tight end Conan Amituanai has long thought to be a heavy Arizona lean but he took his time and his visits before he made the official decision to become a Wildcat. On Friday night, in front of over 100 friends and family, Conan made his announcement that he wanted to be a Wildcat.
"I announced to my family on my birthday the way that I wanted to," said the 3-Star tackle. "I think my family knew where I was going to go but everyone was still happy when I announced it. Right after I did it I called Coach (Mike) Stoops and told him and he was really excited. I told him that I wanted to play my career at Arizona and he was very happy. I also gave my aunt an uncle (Mike Tuiasosopo) a hug and it was a very emotional time."
Conan's 18th birthday bash could not have gone any better. Not only did he announce his college plans but he got to spend time with those around him that mean the most to him.
"I just feel so blessed to have this many good people in my life," he said. "My cousin Albert Toeina from Tennessee was there and our friend Fred Matua from USC was there. I had a lot of my friends from my days at Los Alamitos there and it was just a great night."
Arizona was not always the absolute choice for Conan. As he made his various visits around the Pac-10 he saw a lot of aspects of other schools that he liked but in the end it came back to the Wildcats.
"I really liked Cal a lot," he said. "Obviously I have a lot to like up at Washington also since I know so many people that have played there and everything. Oregon was very nice and everything too but it always came back to Arizona. I was there for the camp and I just cannot pass up the chance to play for my uncle and help build Arizona into what the coaches want it to be."
Conan also went on to comment about how close he and his uncle have become and how much he is looking forward to playing for him.
"Oh man, I am really looking forward to playing for him," he remarked. "I am looking forward to what we will accomplish together and as a program and I can't wait to play for him. He will always treat me like just another player and be just as hard on me but at the same time off the field he will still be my uncle. I couldn't ask for anything more. I want to come in and get this thing going already."
When it comes to his position Conan admits that he will play two positions in Tucson, at least to start.
"I will play tight end and defensive tackle," he said. "I will most likely start at tight end the most and at first play tackle in goal line situations and everything. After that we will see where I fit the best and where I can best help the team. If that is tight end then it is tight end and if it is tackle then it is tackle. I just want to play for Arizona."
Now that his birthday is over with and his college decision is made Conan has started working out again to try and get back into shape. So far, so…ummm…
"I just started working out again today and I am in some serious pain," Conan said laughing. "I knew it was going to be hard getting back into it but man I forgot how much I hate those bleachers when I run them. But I need to do it, I tipped the scale at 301 and that is not good for me. I want to get back down to around 280 for when I get to campus."
When asked if his commitment to Arizona was solid Conan quickly replied with, "Man, I am so happy right now, I want to sign and move to Tucson right now. I am a Wildcat and we are going to surprise a lot of people right from the start. We are coming."
Conan said that he would like to possibly major in Sociology because, "I am really good with people and I want to help people."
Conan also said that he fully expects the "Conan The Destroyer" and "Conan The Barbarian" signs in the stand next year and he does not have a problem with it at all.
"I know people will do that and that is funny to me," he said. "The fans can do whatever they want, as long as they are loud and help us during the games."