Livingston Paogofie had Colorado State at the top of his list following his official visit to CSU last weekend, but the 6-foot-2, 250-pound defender still needed some time to mull things over before announcing a commitment. He told Inside The Rams following his trip that he wanted to take at least one other visit before reaching a decision, namely one to Utah State.
Following careful thought and discussion with his support system, however, Paogofie reached a decision sooner than he initially expected. With the idea of coming in immediately and making an impact in Marty English's defense, along with the possibility of winning a conference title, Paogofie decided the idea of attending CSU was too good to pass up.
"I want to win a championship. I want to win a conference championship there and build a better relationship with the players, and just win," Paogofie said. "I love Colorado State and I love the coaches there. My mom loves it, I love it, so I wanted to go and commit to Colorado State."
Paogofie, the Texas 6A District 4 Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, chose CSU over offers from Lamar, Texas State and Utah State, while heavy interest poured in from Baylor and Boise State. The Texas Class 6A all-state selection recorded 10 sacks, 93 total tackles and 21 tackles for loss while lining up at linebacker and along the defensive line as a senior.
CSU has plans to use him at either defensive end or Buck linebacker, Paogofie said. He would prefer to play outside linebacker, but in the end, he simply doesn't care too much, as long as he sees the field.
"Wherever the coaches put me, I'll give it all I've got. It depends on where they want me," he said. "I would like to play outside linebacker. I mean, with my body right now, I feel like it's a linebacker's size. But as time passes on, we'll see how it goes, like if I can get bigger and play end as well. I played end my whole life, so I have experience there."
Rams defensive line coach Ricky Logo's steady recruitment of Paogofie paid major dividends in the end. Logo stopped by Paogofie's home for an in-home visit and also saw him at Bowie during his recruitment. The blossoming relationship between the two proved to be very important in Paogofie's decision to commit to the Rams.
"He stopped by my home for an in-home visit and he stopped by my school, too. That means a lot, because it shows me that he really wants me and that the love is really there."
Telling CSU head coach Mike Bobo of his commitment early Friday morning was the culmination of years of hard work paying off. It was also a childhood dream becoming a reality.
"I told him that I was ready, ready to commit, and I was ready to be a Ram," Paogofie said of his conversation with Bobo. "He told me he was very excited. He was really excited to have me there and it's a blessing for him to coach me as well."
His commitment to CSU gives the Rams a standout from Bowie for a second straight year. The Rams signed receiver Anthony Hawkins last February. Paogofie said the two are friends and Hawkins gave him tips throughout his recruitment.
"He (Hawkins) talked to me about it, but he told me it's whatever I wanted and what's best for me. As soon as I got there in Colorado and I was staying there for my visit, I started enjoying it. I saw why he committed."
How excited is Paogofie to be a Ram?
"Right now, I can't even explain it. I'm blessed with this opportunity and I'm just ready to play some football, and go to war with the group of guys up there," he explained. "I'll be ready."null