A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., he played one year of high school football before heading to South Dakota to play in a Division II program. He redshirted his first season and then played one season of juco ball. He said that he will play as redshirt sophomore this season, graduate in the spring and transfer to Auburn after that.
"It is a great opportunity for me to play in the SEC for the defending national champion," he said of getting and accepting a recent scholarship offer from Auburn. "The SEC is a big conference and I want to be a part of that. It will help me get ready for the next level."
Will Latu is shown in game action. Latu played high school ball at Gibbs High.
Latu, a 6-5, 315 native of St. Petersburg, Fla., played his single year of high school football in his hometown, then traveled to South Dakota for a redshirt year at Division II Northern State before landing at College of the Canyons in California for the 2010 season.
Commenting on his decision to switch from West Virginia to Auburn, the lineman said, "I just had to make the best decision for me and my family and do what is right, I guess, for me. I guess you could say it is one of those life-changing moments."
Latu said he has been talking to Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes for a long time now, but just recently got an offer from the Tigers. "I felt great when that happened," he said.
"We basically built a relationship through my recruitment," Latu said of the highly-regarded Auburn offensive line coach. "The guy is cool. We have been talking for a while. It is kind of like we are buddies. We joke around about things and when it is time to get serious we get serious. He is a pretty good guy and I know he is going to stick his head out for me."
Having the chance to play for the defending national champions is big to the big lineman. He also noted that being closer to home for his family to attend his games factored into his decision as did concerns about NCAA trouble at West Virginia.
The tackle said that while he was redshirting at Division II Northern State University as a freshman, he worked on the scout team and was dominating everybody. He was on partial scholarship at Northern State after signing out of Gibbs High. He then decided to head for a junior college program in California to use that as a stepping stone to major college football.
Latu said that he feels like he dominated his opponents last season at College of the Canyons and is looking forward to doing it again this fall and then heading off to Auburn, where he will have two seasons of eligibility
He said he plans to take an official visit to Auburn sometime this fall. "I have never been there before," he said. "I like how it is close to home. You can't argue with that, being closer to your family, and being one of the top conferences in the country, you can't argue with that, so everything is good."
He noted that his decision to attend Auburn is firm. "It is a done deal," he said. "I am looking to finish out my season strong and take my talents to Auburn."
Latu is Auburn's 12th public verbal commitment for the 2012 signee class: