Gardena (CA) Serra High School is home to one of the freakiest athletes in the 2007 class. Apaiata Tuiahalamaka is listed as a four star defensive end but he can literally play five different positions on the defensive side of the ball alone.
"I can and will play anywhere people need me to play," said Apai, who also goes by Richard. "I know I can be an end and I can play any of the linebacker spots. I think I could probably play safety too if my coach needed me to."
With such versatility and athleticism Apai is attracting all kinds of attention from college coaches. So far he has more offers than he can remember off the top of his head.
"I honestly don't know exactly how many offers I have," he said. "I know that I kind of have a top 10 or 11 but all of those schools are even. I like Arizona, ASU, USC (no offer), UCLA, Oregon State, Washington, Miami, Texas (no offer), Cal, Nebraska and Mississippi State."
When it comes to Arizona, Apai said that he is being recruited by defensive tackles coach Mike Tuiasosopo simply as an athlete. Apai says that he and Coach Tui really get along well and that he is really liking Arizona a lot.
"Coach Tui is like family," he said. "We have a real strong connection and I know that I can trust him. He is a really funny guy and I feel really comfortable with him. I feel comfortable with all of the coaches at Arizona. They all seem like really good guys and they are really my kind of guys. They take their job seriously but they are laid back and they keep everything real and honest."
Apai is due to be in Tucson for a brief unofficial visit this week and he said that he is really looking forward to it.
"I went to ASU's camps a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was pretty good," he said. "I liked the campus and everything up there but I am really looking forward to seeing Arizona. Me and my cousin are going to fly to Phoenix on Wednesday (today) and then we are going to drive down to Tucson on Thursday morning so we can see the campus and meet the coaches and see everything we can. I have to be back on Thursday night so we will go back to Phoenix and fly home that night."
At this point, Apai has no favorites but he did say that he knows when and how he will announce his decision.
"I know Conan Amituanai and I really like him and how he announced his decision to go to Arizona," he said. "I liked how he announced his decision on his birthday in front of his family and that is how I want to announce my decision. My birthday is on January 4th and that is when I want to announce my decision."
Oxnard (CA) Rio Mesa High School is home to yet another very versatile and freakishly talented athlete. Malachi Lewis, a lot like Apai, can play many different positions. He can play wide receiver, running back and any number of positions on the defensive side of the ball.
"I really want to play wide receiver in college," admitted Lewis. "All of the schools that are recruiting me said that I can play wherever I want or wherever I fit in with the team the most. Arizona is basically telling me that I can play wherever I want or wherever I fit in so that is why I like them."
Malachi is being recruited by Arizona wide receivers coach Charlie Williams and so far he has made a good impression on Lewis.
"I like Coach Williams, he is a cool guy," commented Lewis. "He is an honest guy and he seems like he really is a good guy and a good coach."
At this point Lewis is still weighing all of his options and he plans on taking his time and all of his visits before he makes a decision.
"Right now I just want to wait and see how the season plays out," he said. "I know that Arizona is going to be good this year because that is what everybody is saying. I know USC will be good again and so will all of the other schools that I am looking at. Right now I like Arizona, Washington, Nebraska, USC, Georgia Tech, Oregon State, Cal, San Diego (State) and UCLA."
The State of Texas has been very good to the Cats over the years and it has been even better since Mike Stoops and his staff took over in Tucson. This year the Cats are after a lot more of the talent that the Lone Star State has to offer.
Schertz (TX) Clemens High School is home to yet another defensive lineman that the Cats have their eye one. Two years ago it was now starting defensive tackle Yaniv Barnett and this year it is defensive lineman Tyrell Higgins.
"I have two offers from Arizona and Oklahoma State so far," said Tyrell, who still considers himself a soft commit to Oklahoma State. "I think I will get more offers. I am still committed to OSU but I want to look around a little bit and see what is out there. OSU was my first offer and now that Arizona has offered and other schools might I want to look around."
Higgins said that he is not close to Yaniv Barnett but he did say that he knows the big Wildcat and that he has talked to him some about how he likes playing in Tucson.
"I don't know Yaniv that well but when he comes home he has told me about Arizona," he said. "He tells me how much he likes it there and everything. He thinks I would like it out there too so I am think I will visit Arizona for sure. I know it is a nice campus and the facilities look really nice from the pictures that the coaches send me."
WildcatInsider.com will keep you up to date on these three studs that are looking at the Cats. Stay with WildcatInsider.com for all of the inside scoop on the Class of 2007 recruiting for the Wildcats.