Merced (Calif.) defensive lineman Kamilo Tongamoa is one of the more intriguing junior college defensive line prospects in the 2017 class, and Iowa State wasted little time getting involved with his recruitment, handing him his first offer.
Since the Cyclones offered earlier this spring, Colorado has joined the mix and Oregon, Oklahoma State and USC are among the other schools showing interest. The early message from Iowa State has been simple.
“They said they wanted me to come in to be a leader in the front line, the D-line,” Tongamoa said. “They wanted an older guy because they’re losing [eight] players, so they want an older guy on the line.”
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Tongamoa committed to Colorado State last summer before redshirting and ultimately reclassifying to the 2017 class. He will play for Merced this fall before graduating in December with two years to play two.
Tongamoa, who once played defensive end, has also shifted to the interior.
“They moved me down to the three-tech, I’m not playing defensive end now. I’m a D-tackle for this upcoming season,” he said. “I’m mostly recruited as a D-tackle. I kind of gained a lot of weight, so I’m not moving how I used to as the end spot. It doesn’t matter to me, I’ll play wherever I can play. I could still play the defensive end spot, but my coaches wanted me to play D-tackle more.”
Iowa State visited Tongamoa in recent weeks with defensive line coach Eli Rasheed. The defensive line will be an area of emphasis in the 2017 class as the Cyclones lose a large portion of their defensive line following the 2016 season and are likely to partially replenish the group with one or two JUCO prospects.
“They said Iowa State’s a beautiful place and it’s a place to be. I really want to go on one of my official visits there to Iowa State,” Tongamoa said. “[Matt Campbell] said he really wants me to be at Iowa State.”
“Maybe sometime in the summer I might take my trip up there. I think I’m going to go on several visits in the summer.”
Tongamoa isn’t sure when he might make a decision, but is currently set to sign with a school this December.
“It’s wherever I feel comfortable when I take my visits,” he said.