Who: Poni Tu'uta
High School: River Ridge (LA) John Curtis Academy
Current Height/Weight: 6-4 308
Current Position: OG
Other Offers: None
Analysis: Tu'uta is an intriguing prospect for Ball State and offensive line coach Kyle DeVan. Tu'uta is everything an offensive line coach is looking for, he is big, athletic and a smart young man. The only thing that Tu'uta is lacking right now is experience. Tu'uta mainly played on the defensive line as a DT in high school. There he showed the ability to move fluidly and seek out and punish opponents, both key attributes for a future interior lineman. In the rare instances he did line up on the offensive side of the ball, it was for short yardage situations, where he could use his ability to explode off the snap and manhandle his assignment. Tu'uta, who is also a state champion shot putter (another thing Oline coaches love), has above average speed and ability to get out and lead on a pull. He is a blank slate right now, but the natural ability is there to make a huge impact down the road.
Outlook: It has been said before, but Coach DeVan spoke specifically about wanting to recruit athletes that are big, not just big guys. Tu'uta is just that. At 6-4, he as good length and a frame to get even bigger as he grows in the program, which is scary because he is already approaching 310. Tu'uta moves very well and will pull effectively out of the gate. Look for Poni to take a year, maybe two, but he will be a guy to watch down the road as his potential and talent level is above his offer sheet.