Tuipulotu talks about Commitment

Since arriving in Tucson, Arizona defensive tackles Coach Mike Tuiasosopo has single handedly rebuilt the once proud Polynesian pipeline to Tucson. He has been instrumental in bringing in such talents as Willie Tuitama, Hans Philipp and Bryson Beirne and now you can add another Polynesian stud to the Tuiasosopo ledger.

Kahuku High School nose guard Kaniela Tuipulotu decided to end his recruitment this morning and commit to the Arizona Wildcats.

"Yes I committed to Coach Tui this morning," said Kaniela. "I am happy with my decision and I have really felt strong about Arizona all along."

The commitment may come as a bit of a surprise to some as the USC Trojans were trying to get their foot in the Tuipulotu door but it turns out that they are more than just a little late.

"I just thought about it all last night," Tuipulotu admitted. "USC never really showed that they wanted me or anything until just like right now. Arizona and Coach Tui have been loyal to me and have been with me for like two years now and that sticks out to me. I really loved my visit there and I decided that is where I am meant to be."

Kaniela is in a rare position to have a family member that has attended the University of Arizona. He asked his cousin, former UA basketball star Luke Walton, about Arizona and if he thought Kaniela would like it.

"I talked to my cousin Luke a few times," he said. "He always told me that he would support me no matter where I wanted to go but he said that Arizona was a great place and he thought that I would love it there. He said that Tucson is a great place to spend your college life and on my visit I thought that too."

During the recruiting process many recruits develop relationships with their lead recruiters and in Tuipulotu's case; the relationship with his recruiter is very strong.

"Man, Coach Tui is a great guy," he said. "We have a great friendship. He was great through the recruiting and he never forced anything and he always gave me respect and gave me my space and my time so I could go through the process. He is a great guy to be around and I am really looking forward to playing for him."

To end the interview Kaniela had a message for all Arizona fans.

"We will make you proud," he said. "We are going to bring back Wildcat Pride!"

Kaniela Tuipulotu is the 17th public commitment for the Wildcats in the 2007 class which leaves just either four or five scholarships available. Kaniela's friend and teammate, Nai Fotu, will visit Arizona this weekend despite being a soft verbal commit to the University of Utah.

Stick with for all the latest as the Wildcats make their final push to land their 2007 recruiting class.

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