Apai Talks About Decision

The Arizona Wildcat coaching staff landed two four star linebackers in the same 12 hour span when the Tuihalamaka cousins committed to the Cats. After committing to two schools during the recruiting process, Apai Tuihalamaka has pulled the trigger for the last time.

"Two is good, three's a charm," Tuihalamaka said.

He was asked what it was about Arizona that led to his latest verbal commitment.

"Arizona provides a great opportunity for me with their depth-chart at linebacker," Tuihalamaka said. "It helps that my cousin will be going there, too. Ultimately it was the distance, my official visit, and that Arizona is an up-and-coming program--and I'd like to be a part of it. And I get the chance to play with my cousin once again."

Tuihalamaka said that he couldn't have gone wrong if he ended up attending Colorado or Oregon, but his cousin and guardian, Chris Ma'umalanga said, "This time, his decision will have epoxy on it."

Ma'umalanga explained why Tuihalamaka basically committed to every school he visited.

"Apai has a hard time saying no to people," Ma'umalanga said. "He doesn't want to disappoint anyone or let them down. Don't get me wrong; he really liked Colorado and Oregon, but playing for Arizona, Mike Stoops and the fact it's close to home, makes Arizona the best choice for Apai and Vuna. We also have family in Phoenix. If those two slack off with their schoolwork, the family can head to Tucson and take care of that in a hurry."

Heading into the 2006 season, Tuihalamaka was one of the West Coast's highest rated linebackers, but a pre-season injury resulted in him missing the entire season. This is what USC head coach Pete Carroll had to say about Tuihalamaka during a spring visit to Serra. "Pete was also blown away with Apai and said something to effect that he's the kind of guy you sign, and figure out the position later," Serra head football coach Scott Altenberg said. "He said if he had to pick one out of Apai, Da'John (Harris) or Anthony (Boyles), he'd take Apai." What's on his schedule between now and the summer, when he'll head to Arizona for summer school and camp?

"Just training and school," Tuihalamaka said. "I'm getting back to normal. I'm able to walk and run, just not as fast before the injury. I'll be taking summer courses at Arizona to earn extra credit and work out with the team. I'm already familiar with the defense Coach Stoops runs."

Special Thanks to Scott "Darth Vader" Schrader of WeAreSc.com for the writeup.


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