DT, With Offer, Has Many Connections to Colorado

Neli A'asa was a standout perfomer at the CU camp this past weekend. The big d-tackle who is originally from American Samoa, grew up a Colorado fan and has been to CU summer camps for the last six years. His uncle, Sulu Petaia, played safety for the Buffs and roomed with Kordell Stewart back in '94. CU assistant head coach Brian Cabral is also a close family friend of the A'asas. Colorado is in a great position to land a standout player at a major position of need.

Height: 6-2
Weight: 302
40 time: 4.94
Bench: 320
Squat: 550
Clean: 300
Vertical:'29 1/2
From: Big Rapids, Michigan
High School: Big Rapids

As a junior, Neli A'asa had 67 tackles, eight sacks, three fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles. A'asa was selected honorable mention all-state. "I can move for the weight that I am," he says. "Not a lot of guys my size can move like me. I am very quick off the ball."

The defensive tackle moved to Michigan in 1998 and until that point he resided in American Somoa.

He has written offers from Colorado, Utah and Michigan State. "I also have verbal offers from Boise State, UNLV, BYU, and Troy (USC). I like those schools, but my favorites are Utah, Colorado and Michigan State. I am undecided on a leader out of those three. When my mom gets back, we are going to sit down and discuss the schools as a family."

So does that mean a decision could be coming soon? "I will probably wait to make my decision during the season after I take my visits. I have to call to get my official trips scheduled."

A'asa's uncle playing at CU is only the beginning of his ties to Colorado. "Like I said, Brian Cabral is also a close family friend of ours. My aunt works at a hotel right next to the University and my uncle is best friends with (CU graduate assistant) Donnell Leomiti."

His cousin almost opted for CU last year before heading to USC. "Kaluka Maiava is my cousin and him and I were together at the CU camp two years ago."

The d-tackle had a great experience, as usual, on this trip to Boulder. "It was good. The new defensive line coach (Bill Inge) really seems to know what he is doing. He knows his stuff and also seems like a good guy. I got to hang out with Vaka Manapuna and his nephew was there attending the kids' camp."

A'asa is also friends with CU sophomore, Jordon Dizon. "Him and I have been to some of their camps together so I also know him pretty well."

The CU staff had some great news for A'asa. "They say they are losing four interior lineman on defense and there is a chance I could start as a freshman. They told me it would be up to me if I wanted to red-shirt, or not. That is really exciting."

He will not be attending anymore camps or combines this summer. A'asa carries a 2.8 core GPA and is waiting to receive the score from the recent SAT he took. He would like to major in Business.


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