One of the many Maryland prospects Michigan has been keeping tabs on this fall is Annapolis (Md.) Broadneck standout Ali’i Niumatalolo. The 2016 LB has notched 70 tackles to help propel his team to a 7-0 record.
“I have received a lot of mail and game invites from Michigan, but I haven't had any (direct) contact with the coaches,” Niumatalolo said. “I do want to get out to Michigan for a game, but as of right now I have only been focusing on my team so haven't got out to many.
Boston College, Maryland, BYU, Penn State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, and Utah are some of the other schools monitoring Niumatalolo’s progress. The 6-2, 220-pounder’s penchant for being physical is the trait most responsible for garnering him so much attention.
“I have a lot to work on but the best of my game is in the box, tackle to tackle, stopping the run and blowing up guards and fullbacks,” he said. “I play inside now but I might end up playing outside at the next level because of my body type.”
Michigan hasn’t informed Niumatalolo’s coach of which linebacker position it covets him for yet… the Wolverines have just made clear their interest. And despite rampant speculation about Brady Hoke’s job security, that interest is unquestionably mutual. The talented youngster’s outlook on all the hot-seat talk stems from being the son of a coach. His father in Navy Midshipmen headman Ken Niumatalolo.
“The rumors (about Hoke’s job being in jeopardy) have not (affected how I view them),” he said. “My parents and I all respect Brady Hoke a lot.”
For now Niumatalolo is content waiting to see how things play out with all of his suitors. He hasn’t yet developed a list of favorites or a decision timeline. All he knows about his recruitment at the moment is the criteria that he will use to determine the best fit.
Said Niumatalolo, “the most significant factors will be how I feel with the type of players on the team, type of coach, and football tradition.”