"Little Vic" is Highly Coveted "Big Vic" Prospect

Affectionately referred to by family and friends as "Little Vic," this 6-4, 225-pound prospect is fast emerging as one of the most coveted LDS tight end recruits in the country.

TotalBlueSports.com highlighted Vitale So'oto more than a year ago after Betty Ann Marquardt (mother of current BYU defensive linemen Michael and Daniel Marquardt) shed light on his prospects and potential.

"We are really good friends," So'oto said. "They are in the Vista stake, but their family does "Polynesia Night" every Tuesday night at our high school. I don't dance. I just watch, but I do the fire knife dance."

Currently, USC and UCLA have the hometown lead in his recruiting. "I kind of want to stay close to home so my parents don't have to drive 11 hours just to see me play. USC and UCLA are pretty close to home and I think USC lets you go on your mission."

So'oto added, "I think the (USC) coaches are great. I met Norm Chow down there. The funny thing was that it was on Sunday, and he said, "Aren't you missing your priesthood quorum?" I told him it wasn't my fault because he set it up on Sunday," So'oto chuckled. "I like their coaches a lot."

BYU is also in his "top five" mix, he said. "I'm getting attention from Oklahoma, USC, UCLA, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, BYU, Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Kansas, Washington, Washington State, Cal and Stanford. That's it off the top of my head."

So'oto raked up excellent yardage as a tight end for Carlsbad High School, even with a sprained ankle that hampered from the fifth game of the season. "I got injured during practice halfway through the season, and I was playing through the injury but was still able to produce. I played the first five games without injury). Then, during practice I got the injury. One of the scout linemen was messing around and fell on my ankle. It's good now. I still had 17 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns. The last game I played in, I had the two touchdowns," So'oto said.

"My best game was against Vista High School. I kept getting receptions because they couldn't cover me. We lost, but that was my personal best. I had, I think, four receptions for about 80 yards."

Where does BYU figure right now in his recruiting mix?

"I know they throw to their tight end a lot," said So'oto. "I know they let you go on your mission with a scholarship so that's a big plus. I want to go on my mission, but to tell you the truth I'll play anywhere."

He pointed out what he is seeking in his college choice. "Location is a factor, my mission and if the coaching staff fits my style or what I would like to see. For a major, I'm thinking about doing sports medicine. My GPA is 3.2. That's one thing I liked about USC. I went there on Junior Day and they stressed academics a lot."

So'oto plans to attend BYU's summer camp with close friend, Russell Tialavea, a rival from nearby Oceanside High School. Tialavea is a 6-3, 265 pound offensive lineman who was named First Team All-League as a junior.

"I'm coming on the 21st of June, I think. Russell and I are really good friends and we hang out all the time. Russell is my toughest (football) opponent, but he didn't get anything on me, but you can ask him about it," So'oto joked. "Ask him (Tialavea) about that time when he dropped back into zone, and I went out for a pass. I juked him out and caught the ball. Also ask him about the time when he got close enough to touch my quarterback and I knocked him out of the way. It was good though, we had a stalemate," So'oto laughed.

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