JUCO Pio Vatuvei set to visit Cards

Pio Vatuvei, who played his freshman season at the University of Washington, will make a visit to the University of Louisville next weekend. The defensive tackle could be a late addition to the U of L football signing class.

University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino is searching for a few more prospects to add - especially on the defensive side of the ball - to the Class of 2014.

And Petrino will look into the junior-college for some help on the defensive line.

College of San Mateo defensive tackle Pio Vatuvei said he will make a visit to U of L next week and is hoping he gets "an offer I can't pass up," with the Cardinals.

"I knew about Louisville when I was growing up, watching coach (Bobby) Petrino when he was there and they won the 2006 (Orange Bowl)," Vatuvei said. "They had some good defensive players like Elvis Dumvervil.

"So, I knew about them but I have never been to Kentucky, never been to the Midwest. They told me they want to get me there and show me around."

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Vatuvei originally committed to USC out of Patterson, Calif., High School before changing his mind on signing day and signing with Washington. He played in nine games as a true freshman at Washington in 2012, starting one game and recording seven tackles.

But he was dismissed from the Washington program last July and spent a season at the College of San Mateo. He was named an All-Conference player this past season.

"You don't get too many chances like this, and a second chance for me," Vatuvei said. "Especially, after signing day. So I am excited and want to make the best of it."

Vatuvei said Petrino and then Western Kentucky defensive coordinator Nick Holt came to his school and met with him before he left WKU for the U of L job. He said once he was at U of L, Petrino called him and "asked if I was still interested and I told him yes."

"He's a great guy and he's kept it real with me, I like that about him," Vatuvei said.

He's also hearing from Colorado, Fresno State and Western Michigan.

In high school, Vatuvei was ranked as the No. 43 defensive end in the country and a top-50 prospect in California by Scout.com. He was named all-state and also played basketball at Patterson.


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