Tuli Letuligasenoa regrets leaving Cal-Texas early, can see himself at Berkeley

CONCORD, Calif. -- Four-star De La Salle defensive tackle Tuli Letuligasenoa talks about his longtime friend and Friday-night opponent (who's also a Cal offeree), leaving Cal-Texas early and about his relationship with the Bears.

CONCORD, Calif. -- Tuli Letuligasenoa shakes his head. He left at halftime.

One of California's newest offerees -- a 2018 four-star defensive tackle out of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle -- was there for the Golden Bears' first half against then-No. 11 Texas a week ago, but had to watch -- and listen to -- the second half from Blondie's, after his ride arrived.

"I was actually just there for the game, got on the sidelines, talked to the coaches, and I actually left during halftime, because my ride was there. I missed that great ending, that great second half," Letuligasenoa said inside the Spartans locker room, following a 28-21 win of his own over Antioch (Calif.) on Friday night. "I was pumped. I went to go at at Blondie's, so we hear the horns, and we're like, 'OK, Cal's doing this!' I went home, and the first thing I did was turn on ESPN, and seeing that Cal won, that was shocking."

Shocking, but heartening for Letuligasenoa.

"I was mad. I was hecka mad," he said. "I was like, 'Come on, man, the ride couldn't wait?'"

As he talks, Letuligasenoa observes Antioch linebacker Omari Harris capering in the background -- in the middle of the De La Salle locker room, in full Panthers game gear -- and calls him "my Cal offer buddy."

How long have they known one another? "Middle school," Letuligasenoa says.

Harris: "Middle school, sixth grade?"

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1710245-omari-harris-talks... Letuligasenoa: "Sixth grade."

Harris: "Way back, basketball courts and all."

Letuligasenoa: "Me and him against everybody."

With both of them being offered by the Bears, there's certainly a pull for Letuligasenoa, who is a self-described homebody.

"I love the Bay Area," he said. "It's near home, and I don't really have to go too far. Cal's a great school, so we'll see."

Cal is, smartly, playing to that desire to stay home.

"They know my weak spot, they know my weak spot," Letuligasenoa laughs. "They've definitely been hitting at that. Coach [Sonny] Dykes has been doing a good job, especially, telling me to stay in the Bay. I don't see nothing wrong with that, but we'll see."

One of Letuligasenoa's role models, Boss Tagaloa, gave the Bears a visit, before ultimately deciding on UCLA.

He's been DMing me on twitter, and he's got my number, so sometimes, he Facetimes me. He's a big influence, with UCLA, and I definitely would love to play side-by-side with him."

With an offer from the Bruins, as well as Cal, Nebraska and most recently Illinois, Letuligasenoa has plenty of early options, but when the Bears are mentioned, his eyes light up.

"It definitely had me surprised, what Cal did, especially coming off that loss to San Diego State, and how they bounced back. That definitely opened my eyes, a lot," Letuligasenoa said. 

Watching James Looney in the middle, and talking with defensive line coach Fred Tate have only helped Letuligasenoa visualize himself in blue and gold.

"Coach Tate, I love that guy. He's definitely been keeping up with me, and seeing how I'm doing, checking in and all that," Letuligasenoa said.

As for Looney's game?

"Crazy. That's how you do it," Letuligasenoa said. "I can see myself in that spot, just learning from him, watching him, seeing everything that he's doing, and put that into my game."


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