The timeline for making a decision is by season’s end, but if Mt. San Antonio College JUCO defensive lineman Loni Fa had to decide now, there is one clear favorite.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound lineman, who is being recruited to play defensive tackle, said he’s leaning toward the school that has offered.
“I still right now am leaning toward going to Iowa State,” Fa told AllCyclones.com.
Fa made an official visit to Iowa State for its season-opener against North Dakota State and walked away impressed. While he has played at defensive end this season at times, he still views himself as a defensive tackle, which is where the Cyclones feel he could fit into their future.
“I loved it. There was no sugarcoating,” Fa said of his August visit. “The coaches were very straight-up with me and it’s what I appreciated. It’s one thing I value a lot is when I had a chance to sit down with coach [Wally] Burnham, he was really straight-up with me about the strengths and weaknesses of the defense. I feel that’s a big value that I hold is integrity and when someone is straight-up with me. That by itself was something that I really loved.”
After attending Ygnacio Valley High School in California, Fa has remained in the state at Mt. SAC. Last season as a freshman he recorded 16 tackles in nine games, including 2.5 sacks. During his sophomore season this year, Fa has at times struggled with knee soreness, which has limited him in a few quarters.
Iowa State had secondary coach Maurice Linguist in California during the recent bye weekend to watch Fa, which the sophomore said he appreciated.
“It means a lot. It shows the interest that a team has,” Fa said. “I’ve never really had this happen to me before. I never really had scouts come and watch me. To know that one came all the way from Iowa [means a lot].”
Fa said he has been told by Burnham that he fits into Iowa State’s defensive tackle position.
“I feel like my strength when I play is being aggressive with the run,” Fa said. “They moved me inside to play [defensive tackle] during the summertime this year, but we were struggling a little bit with our defensive end position, that’s what I played last year. So they moved me out so I can help with the run while at the same time helping with keeping containment on the outside. That’s where my big strengths have come this season.”
Fa, who is married, said his college of choice must be a good fit for both he and his wife. He plans to enroll next semester, and hopes to make a decision right before or when his season comes to an end, which is slated for early November.