Sacramento DL Is Thinking Big

BYU enjoyed great success recruiting defensive linemen out of California in 2005. Matangi Tonga and Romney Fuga represented two of the Golden State's best D-line prospects last season. The Cougars are going back to Cali for another DL prospect who looks to be one of the state's top players in 2006.

Last season, Christian Tupou helped lead Sacramento, California's Grant High School to an 11-2 record by recording 85 tackles and 16 sacks. The 6-foot-3, 268-pound defensive end was also named first team all-conference, first team all-city and all-state underclassman.

"I use my strength to overpower people," Tupou said. "I'm also very fast off the line. The other teams usually don't expect me to move as fast as I do for my size."

Tupou, who benches 335 pounds and squats 500 pounds said this summer he wants to work on his footwork and technique with his hands. Tupou already has a couple offers as well as interest from major programs, so any off-season improvement will be icing on the cake.

"Sacramento State and BYU have both offered me already," Tupou said. "And I'm hearing from USC and Notre Dame."

Growing up a Florida State fan, Tupou said he is very interested in the Seminoles, Miami and Florida.

"My top three schools are USC, Florida State, and Miami, but I haven't heard anything from the Florida schools yet," said Tupou.

This summer, Tupou plans to attend the Nike camp at Stanford but he does not plan of visiting any other schools or camps.

Football runs in the Tupou family. Christian's brother Fenuki plays at Oregon right now, and his other brother Sipani is currently on a mission in Ecuador, but plans on playing at a D-I after his mission.

"My brother gets back from his mission in about a year," Tupou said. "He wants to go Miami when he gets back. Before his mission he played Center at Sac City College. He is about 6-4, 260 pounds."

Tupou said he does not have any plans to serve a mission himself, but he is looking forward to playing football in college.

"I'm looking for a winning football school, that has shown it can win consistently," Tupou said. "I'm also looking for a school that gets a lot of support from the city and fans. I want the environment to be about football. Where the fans all wear the school colors."

As far as BYU goes, Coach Brandon Doman was in touch with Tupou's high school coach. Tupou later called Coach Doman who extended a scholarship offer.

"I'm keeping that offer on the table," Tupou said, "but I want to see what else is out there. I just don't want to commit anywhere without seeing what is out there. I will wait until after my senior season to see which schools are interested."

Tupou has never been to Provo to see BYU. He was invited to Junior Day at BYU this April, but he will not be attending. At the moment, Tupou has not plans to visit BYU this summer. He may take an official visit to BYU during the season, however. Tupou said he does not have any connections or relatives on the BYU football team.

Tupou likes Sacramento State because they were the first to offer him, and he likes the idea of coming in and turning the program around.

Next season Tupou said he plans on playing defensive end and defensive tackle. He said he likes playing at all the positions along the defensive line. He also played fullback for his school and ran the ball six times for 25 yards and one touchdown.

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