Maybe it's because Auelua had moved from California to the Salt Lake City area before his senior year, causing him to get lost in the shuffle. Whatever the reason, he was determined to keep playing football. So he went to Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., to try and keep the dream alive.
A year and a half later and Auelua finds himself a wanted commodity among Division 1 programs. Among those vying for his services is Boise State.
The one-time Utah State commit (he backed off that pledge last Wednesday night) is excited to see his hard work paying off.
"Anyone who knows JuCo life, they know it is rough and it kind of feels like a downgrade from high school, Auelua said. "But I'm thankful for the struggle. I am letting it mold me. It makes me very grateful for these offers that I've earned. I really started from the bottom and am now getting to the top."
"Getting this kind of attention is great," Auelua said. "My goal in life was just to get a scholarship and to get school paid for and now that I have it, I feel so much (weight) off of my shoulders."
Auelua will finish his junior college courses in May and join his future team over the summer. His decommitment from the Aggies was based on a desire to give himself plenty of time to evaluate all options before making a final decision. Having visited Boise in October for the Air Force game, he says the Broncos are at the very top of his list.
"I just want to really make sure I am going to make the right decision where I (will) spend my next two years," he said. "And Boise is just looking to be the best fit for me as of right now."
Bronco head coach Bryan Harsin and offensive line coach Scott Huff will visit Auelua "next week," he said.
"We will see how that goes."
BroncoCountry.com has been covering Boise State sports since 2002. You can keep up to date on the latest Boise State news by following publisher Kevin Hiatt @Kevin_Hiatt, and lead reporter Chase Glorfield @ChaseGlorfield on twitter, by liking and following our Facebook page at BoiseStateBroncosOnScout, and by keeping your browser on the BroncoCountry website and message board. If you're a recruit who wants to create, or update a Scout.com profile, or if you just have Boise State recruiting information to share, email Kevin and Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org.