Terps Tracking 'Physical Freak' from Cali

Maryland's foray into the junior college ranks continued last week when the Terps extended an offer to Laney College (Oakland, Calif.) defensive end Anthony Fotu, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound Samoan native who figures to gain massive recruiting attention moving forward.

Maryland's foray into the junior college ranks continued last week when the Terps extended an offer to Laney College (Oakland, Calif.) defensive end Anthony Fotu, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound Tongan native who figures to gain massive recruiting attention moving forward. Fotu already claims early offers from Maryland, Miami and Illinois, while his coach Jim Beam, said all the Pac-12 programs will be involved as well.

"With JC guys it's a little different because coaches will say they've offered in the spring, and then their school lands a four-star high school player and the offer is off the table," Beam said. "But Anthony is going to get offered by everybody in the Pac-12 and others.

"Anthony is a physical freak. He's 6-3, 6-4, 280 pounds and he's an athlete," he continued. "He was on the junior national rugby team and he played against grown men in Argentina last year. His brother, Joe, was a defensive tackle here last year and he signed with Illinois, but I think Anthony will be better than his brother. He has a better upside at the college level. But the whole family can play [football]. Anthony actually has two brothers in high school bigger than he is."

Right now, according to Beam, Fotu is still processing all the recruiting hullabaloo. He said he was grateful for the offers but has no early favorites or schools he'd like to hear more from.

"I know he would probably like for his family to be able to come see him fairly easily and doesn't have to fly to be able to see him," Beam said. "I could see him sticking around [California]. But then again his brother is out in Illinois, so the family already has to go out there to see him, and Anthony has said he wouldn't mind leaving as well.

"I know he'll be visiting Illinois again and he has said he might want to play with his brother, but he also said he'd like to try something different and play against his brother. It's kind of an interesting deal there."

Evidently Beam has connections at both Maryland and Miami, which is how both programs found out about Fotu. Beam said both schools will likely receive visits in the summer, though that's not set in stone. Other than Illinois, Fotu may also check out Washington, Fresno State and California with his teammate, Eddie Hood, a coveted outside linebacker recruit.

"With Miami, the offensive line coach played at Laney, so they're in on Anthony, and Coach [Brian] Stewart at Maryland, he's a West Coast guy. We've met up before when Stewart was in college, and when I coaching at Oxon Hill I got to spend time with him when he was with the Chargers. He's a real good guy," Beam said. "He's a great coach and he's doing great things out at Maryland. I think Anthony would fit in well there, but we'll see."

A California native, Fotu, who goes by the nickname Tofa, attended San Leandro High (San Leandro, Calif.) and received plenty of college looks as a senior, but he did not qualify academically. After a year at Laney, however, he's on track and is eager to move on to the FCS ranks next year.

"Anthony grew up in a single-parent home -- his father died when he was young -- and it was just his mother supporting five kids. So he didn't always have that [academic] support growing up, but he's really buckled down now," Beam said. "And we do a great job with our tutoring program here and support them academically, so he's good to go now."

Fotu is coming off a season where he recorded 27 tackles, four sacks and one interception.

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