'Mana' is officially a Wildcat!

The Arizona Wildcat coaching staff is just like any other coaching staff; they are always in the market for defensive tackles. The tackle position is always the hardest position to recruit because it is just not a specialty position in the high school ranks. So far for the 2006 recruiting class the Cat coaches have gotten two big commitments from Gabe Long and Conan Amituanai and now they have locked up their third commitment at the vital tackle position.

Damien (Hawaii) High School standout defensive linemen Lolomana Mikaele decided to pull the trigger this morning and is now officially an Arizona Wildcat.

"I talked to Coach (Mike) Tuiasosopo this morning and I committed to him," said the big Tongan they call ‘Mana', with a laugh. "I talked to my parents and after that I committed and Coach Tui was real excited. They are supposed to call me tonight so I can tell Coach (Mike) Stoops personally that I am a Wildcat."

Mana visited on the weekend of January 13th and while in Tucson he hit it off with fellow defensive tackle commit Conan Amituanai.

"Oh yeah, me and Conan got along great," said Mana, with another laugh. "I think we might end up rooming together at Arizona when we get there. He and I both love it there and the coaches are the best part."

While the coaching staff proved to be the ultimate deciding factor for Mikaele, it was really a combination of everything that really sold him on the Arizona program.

"The coaches are the best there but it was everything really," he said. "All of the people and the facilities and everything is just perfect for me. Coach Tui is such a good person and is a great coach. He is tight and the whole program is like a huge family and that is what I like."

Since he plays basketball, Mana said that he is down to around 260 pounds but he expects to be at 280 or more by the time he gets to Tucson.

"I am at I think 262 now but I will get bigger," he said. "I play basketball so I am losing weight right now but I want to be at least 275 or 280 by the time I get there."

When it comes to a firm position, Mana says that he will play anywhere the coaches want him to.

"Oh man, I will play receiver if they want me to," he said laughing again. "I mean, wherever I am needed then I will do what I need to do. I thin I will play some outside on the line but most likely I will play at tackle, which is fine with me. As long as I get to hit people that is fine with me."

Since Mana was in between classes he had one last opinion on the future of Arizona Football.

"Oh man, the future is so bright there man, I think I gotta wear shades," he said laughing yet again.

Mana is the 23rd public commitment for the Wildcat coaching staff and is the third defensive tackle in the class. He is also the sixth commitment gained by Mike Tuiasosopo as a lead recruiter. Mana is the first Hawaiian high school commitment for the Cats since Joe Siofele.


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