Te'o Becoming A Hot Recruit

When TBS first spoke with Kahuku High School product Shiloah Te'o, he was still flying a bit under the radar. While this was true several weeks ago, things have changed now. Schools all over the map are taking a serious look at Te'o, with some having offered and others close to offering. TBS caught up with Te'o to talk about what has changed. [This interview originally took place on May 25th]

"I saw Steve [Kaufusi] [recently]," said Shiloah Te'o. "He was out here recruiting. He asked me if I was going on my mission and stuff. Steve just said, ‘Go for the right reasons.' I have talked to Robert Anae too, but not lately. His father, Famika, was the first coach at Kahuku."

The hot topic amongst BYU fans, and at the recent PIAA combine in Honolulu, is Shiloah's cousin, Manti Te'o. The two once played together at Kahuku.

"Yeah, my cousin is Manti," said Te'o. "We want to play together in college. We actually were working out together everyday. He hasn't worked out with us lately because he goes to Punahou, not Kahuku. He transferred [from Kahuku] after his freshman year for his education. Punahou is a private school. It's one of the top private schools in the nation. BYU offered him too."

Several weeks ago when TBS first interviewed Te'o, BYU was the only school that had offered him. Te'o did mention in that first interview that if USC were to offer a scholarship to him, he might commit. His options are increasing by the week, and USC is getting involved.

"Things have really opened up for me recently," said Te'o. "Actually, it was really just this week. Oregon State said they're going to offer me. USC came on Tuesday. They said that they had seen all my grades and stuff and they like the way I practice. Steve [Sarkisian] said that he wants me to come and see him and Pete Carroll on the 21st [of June]. Washington might offer. They said they want to. They only have eight DB's. Tennessee and Notre Dame are looking at me too. Tennessee called and they said they want to offer; they said they're running short on DB's. Just today, Idaho State said they're going to offer. It's the first time I've ever heard from them. My coach told me that SC is most likely going to offer and Tennessee [too], but nothing is said and done yet. USC is loaded, you know. They are loaded with talent. You have to look at that too."

Te'o doesn't have big camp plans this summer; he'll make only a few stops on his visit to the mainland and then he'll head back home to prepare for his senior season. Could BYU be one of those stops?

"I'm going to go to the All-Poly Camp," said Te'o. "After the All-Poly, [Steve] Sarkisian wants me and Manti to go to the Senor Rising Stars Camp. Manti wasn't going to go because the camp for the juniors isn't until later and school starts early for them. I asked Steve if Manti could just come with me to the senior camp and Steve said yes. I'll probably go down and visit BYU after the Poly Camp, the last day of BYU's camp."

So how does Te'o feel about BYU, their defense, and the safety position played in the 3-4?

"They're a good school; they have a rising program," said Te'o. "Our defense is running their [defensive scheme]. Our defensive coaching staff just recently went up there to learn the 3-4 defense from BYU. That's a plus for me if I do commit there; I'll already be familiar with the 3-4. My coach wants me to play like Troy Polamalu. He told me he wants me to roam around the field. He said I can go on the line of scrimmage or wherever I want when I blitz. That's how much trust they have in me, that's how much they believe in me."

With so many different schools looking at Te'o, what is he looking for in a school?

"I'm looking for a good program, a great opportunity to play," said Te'o. "Tradition and academics are important too. I don't really know about BYU's tradition, but from what I hear I'd like to be a part of their tradition. I've heard their facilities are really nice too. Itula [Itula Mili, Te'o's uncle and former BYU tight end] actually talked to me about their tradition. "

TBS will catch up with Te'o soon and follow up on how everything has been going.


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