Utah Safety Receiving Instate Interest

Pine View High School safety Isaac Katoa already received an offer from UNLV last February, and has been receiving interests from instate schools BYU and Utah. Recently, Georgia Tech has also shown some interest in him. Meanwhile, Katoa has listed one school as his early favorite.

Issac Katoa, who is the cousin of former Cottonwood High School middle linebacker Lynn Katoa, comes in at about 6 feet and 200 pounds. He plays both safety and wide receiver for the Pine View Panthers down in St. George.

"I like playing safety more because that's my primary position," said Katoa. "I just like playing safety more. I try to play aggressive but at the same time play smart. I try to hit hard and play as fast as I can."

While Katoa likes playing safety, that wasn't his position on defense last year.

"I did pretty good last year," recalled Katoa. "I led the region in sacks and played outside linebacker last year. I just barely switched to safety this year because I'm too small for linebacker in college. I had around 14 sacks and around 101 tackles last year and all the colleges that are recruiting me asked me to switch to safety. They feel my size fits more the safety position than outside linebacker."

According to Katoa, both BYU and Utah have been recruiting him pretty seriously.

"I've been invited to go down to both Junior Days and I'll be attending some of their summer camps and stuff they're going to be providing me with," Katoa said of BYU and Utah. "I went to Utah's Junior Day about two or three weeks ago, and I was invited to go to BYU's Junior Day by Coach Tidwell I think on June 9th. I'm going to go up there for that and then I have 7-on-7 football camp that my team is going up to at Utah. It's the Ute Shoot Camp."

Katoa's uncles Fred and Fotu, who both played football at BYU back in the late 80s and early 90s, have naturally talked to him about the Cougar program.

"They told me that if I do go to BYU that I need to be really strong in the Church," said Katoa. "They were telling me it was a good program and stuff. I told them that I wanted to go to Utah though and they just started laughing."

His uncles might have chuckled at the notion of him attending Utah, but he was being serious about his desires to possibly play for the Utes.

"I just think the way their defense is ran, it fits me more," Katoa said. "I'm looking up on the rosters and the position is more open for faster playing time at Utah. I could try and get the spot my freshman or sophomore year."

Utah's academics also appeal to Katoa.

"Every kid has dreams of going to the NFL," Katoa said. "If that doesn't work out I'm planning on being a pharmacist. Utah has all the academics and majors at their university for that major, and that's another reason."

In addition, Katoa also has family members that live close to the University of Utah.

"I would probably have housing taken care of so I wouldn't have to worry about paying for housing," Katoa said.

As for what else Katoa is looking for in a university, he wants to attend school in a good environment.

"I just want to be surrounded by all the good things and I think Utah is a good spot for that," he said. "I also think BYU is a good spot for that too. They provide some nice opportunities too, you know. I've always gone to church and I've grown up in the Church, but I've just never really thought about serving a mission. I might change my mind later, but right now I don't have any plans on serving a mission."

Meanwhile, Katoa has been in recent contact with the Utah coaching staff.

"I got a letter from Utah today actually," Katoa said on Thursday. "I got a letter from [Aaron] Alford today. I've been calling him and keeping him updated and all that, you know. They're having their camp down in St. George next month, and they invited me to come down there. I think it's around 300 bucks. They told me to show up."

Despite the letter from Utah, the Utes aren't necessarily pursuing him the most.

"It's pretty equal right now," he said. "Everyone is recruiting me about the same."

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