Offer in Hand Inland Empire LB Visiting 'Dogs

Fresno State has loaded up on an athletes on the offensive side of the ball, now it's time to focus on defense. One of their latest offers is to San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley LB Ofa Fifita. The hard-hitting linebacker talks about his in-home visit with the FS coaches on Tuesday night and his upcoming official visit to the Valley....

Two-star linebacker Ofa Fifita (6-0, 220)will be taking an official visit to Fresno State on Jan. 22 and had an in-home visit from the Bulldogs coaches early last evening (Jan. 19).

"(Bulldogs offensive line) Coach Derek Frazier and (linebackers) coach Tim Skipper were here," Fifita said.

"It was really cool," he said. "They brought this big binder with them, which all the players get on the first day of school. It's supposed to help you keep track of all your classes and assignments and stuff. You put everything in there and your position coach goes over it with you every week to make sure you're on top of everything."

Fresno State was Fifita's most recent offer and one he was long hoping for.

"I think that Fresno State has a lot to offer," he said. "They always have a good team. They play good competition every year and I love how they compete. They never seem to be too down. Plus, coach Pat Hill just signed a contract extension, so that's real good."

Last weekend (Jan. 15), Fifita visited San Jose State officially.

"I really liked it," he said about his time in San Jose. "I love what they have to offer. The team didn't do great, but they have a lot to offer academically and my decision isn't just going to be about football."

Although the Spartans struggled in ‘09, Fifita says he thinks the program is moving in the right direction under new head coach Mike MacIntyre. "I have a feeling he's gonna get it turned around. The players seem pretty excited about coach MacIntyre."

Fifita says he got some valuable one-on-one time with coach MacIntyre during his trip. "He said they really want me," he said. "He said they know I've got other options but that they really wanted me to know how serious they are about me.

"He says that I could be a good mike ‘backer for them," he said. "And that he sees a lot of potential in me that they could develop."

Fifita, ranked as the No. 107 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, still denies a leader but has it narrowed it down to Fresno State, San Jose State, Nevada and Hawaii. All of his favorites have offered and he'll be visiting the Warriors officially on Jan. 29.

He also already visited Nevada on Dec. 11. "That would be a beautiful place to live," he said about Reno. "It's really different out there from California. People seem more laid-back and they don't seem to be in a rush like they are here. They are very nice and genuine. I loved the community. Everyone is real friendly. I felt welcome there."

Fifita plans to make his decision following his Hawaii trip, but before signing day.

"I like something about each school," he said. "It'll be a tough decision. I should probably have more of an idea after I visit Fresno State this weekend.

"I'm just looking for that warm feeling in my heart," he said.

Fifita finished his senior season (7-4) with 133 tackles, seven sacks, six fumbles caused, two blocked field goals and one blocked punt.

He plans on majoring in business and reports a 3.4 core GPA and a 1300 three-part-SAT.

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