Early Exposure Helps ASU Land Latu Twins

Paul ‘Unga's playing days in Tempe may be over, but his tenure at Arizona State is still affecting Sun Devil recruiting these days. Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) twin brothers Alani and Viliami Latu are the cousins of the former ASU defensive lineman and as they attended ‘Unga's home games they both envisioned themselves also playing at Sun Devil stadium one day.

Therefore, both linebackers were elated when Arizona State started pursuing them and the Sun Devils were ranked high on their list for several months. When their recruiting coach, Joe Lorig, attended their game on Friday they decided to end their recruitment and pledge to ASU.

"Coach Lorig showed us some love coming here on his bye week," Viliami Latu told Devils Digest. "He never gave up on us and always contacted us to see how we are doing, but he never pressured us to commit. That really caught our attention. Him being there inspired us to make our decision. We were always very interested in Arizona State. We just felt that it was the right time and we are excited that we committed.

"We visited ASU in the spring and we loved it. We just felt comfortable there, liked the coaches, the facilities and the program. It felt like home. Ever since that visit Arizona State has been up there as one of our favorites and the coaches always kept in close contact with us. Our whole family was excited when we first got an offer from them, and Paul told us about all the advantages we would have if we went there. We're a Pac-12 family and it's big that ASU is in the Pac-12."

According to Fox Sports Next's Recruiting Analyst, Greg Biggins, Viliami Latu is the bigger of the two twins and is a prototype inside linebacker. He's a rock solid 6-2, 225 pounds and on a team loaded with BCS prospects, is described as the heart and soul of the program by the Rancho Cucamonga coaching staff. He can run, hit and plays with a non-stop motor ad might be the most physical ‘backer in the Inland Empire region.

Biggins added that Alani Latu is a natural fit at outside linebacker. He's 6-1, 210 pounds and is a very good athlete who showed good cover skills during the summer 7 on 7 circuit. He's a very physical player as well and both twins have the talent to play early for the Sun Devils.

"We watched a few of ASU's games this year," Latu said, "and we liked how the linebackers blitz a lot. They defense also gets a lot of tackles for loss. It's a very good defense and we love the scheme and the (defensive) coaches. We enjoyed watching them practice in the spring.

"The coaches said that they want me to play like a defensive end and rush from the edge like a weak side linebacker. As long as I get to blitz I'm happy (laughs). For Alani…he's going to be more like a coverage linebacker that plays like a safety. I play the run better and I need to work more on my coverage skills and speed. Alani is a more balanced player that can play sideline to sideline and up the field, but he needs to do a better job shedding blocks."

Latu said that he and his brother chose ASU over Oregon State, Arizona and San Diego State, and both are scheduled to visit the Sun Devils as they host Washington State on November 17th.

In previous interviews, the Latu brothers said that there was a possibility that they will embark on an LDS mission while in college. Viliami Latu said that there hasn't been a definitive resolution on that matter, and that this is a topic that they will revisit in the future.

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