Standing 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing over 300 pounds, Lowell Lotulelei is not a little guy.
As the consensus #2 prospect in the state of Utah and younger brother of former Ute and All-Pac12 defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, he's not under-the-radar either.
Heading into this weekend's official visit to Utah Lowell had plenty of options in front of him. He carried offers from in-state programs Utah, BYU, and Utah State as well as UCLA, Oregon State, Boise State and many others.
Utah was in on Lowell early, but when older brother Star burst onto the scene in 2011 the eyes of coaches and scouts turned quickly to Bingham High School in hopes of landing the next dominant force in the Lotulelei family.
"Recruiting was crazy. A lot of people called me since last year and a lot of schools have sent me letters."
Lowell carries a quiet demeanor and doesn't participate in social media sites like Twitter and Facebook like other high-schoolers and soon-to-be D1 athletes.
He has a cell phone but says he doesn't answer it often and doesn't like to spend a lot of time talking with coaches. As a result, it has been difficult for programs (and recruiting sites) to gauge his interest, especially these past few months.
As signing day crept closer Lowell knew it was time he made his decision. Ultimately comfort, familiarity, and a track record of success won out.
"I'm definitely glad that it's over. It's been a long process. Most of the coaches that were recruiting me were really cool about just calling me once in a while and not really blowing up my phone so it was cool. But it was still long; I'm glad it's over."
So why Utah?
"The reason I picked Utah was because of the ties between them and my family. Seeing how much they helped Star and how successful he's been and where he's going. And not just that; the coaches, they're real sincere in what they say. I just feel like I really connected with the coaches, it was just real good.
"With Utah, they've just been constantly showing me that they really care about me and that I'd be successful going over there. I think Utah is one of the best D-line schools in the nation. They have a lot of players in the league, especially D-linemen. I think it will be a good place for me go to and try to take it to the next level."
Older brother Star's position coach Chad Kauha'aha'a recently left the Utah program after being offered a position on the Wisconsin defensive staff. Coach Chad was very close with the Lotulelei family after spending years bonding with Star. His departure opened up questions about whether or not Lowell would leave the state. Though he admits he did consider it, he says ultimately his relationships with remaining Utah staff members helped keep him in the state.
"Losing coach Chad was hard for my family because we have known him so long; but there's still a lot of good coaches up there [at Utah] that I really like and that were really cool. Coach Chad is a great coach and a really good guy but in the end it didn't really affect my choice."
Lowell says one current Utah coach stood out above the others throughout his recruitment.
"Coach Hill...he was always around, always at my school checking up on me and my grades and classes, he was probably there the most. I really respect him and the way he recruited me. He was a big reason why I chose Utah."
Lowell committed to the Utah coaches at breakfast in front of 13 other official visitors as his visit this past weekend concluded. The trip, Lowell says, was a lot of fun for everyone involved and made him excited about playing with some potential teammates. He says it showed him just how enjoyable playing at Utah could be.
"The visit was awesome. Meeting all the other kids my age, the other recruits, they're real cool. It was way fun. They had a lot of real cool activities planned for us and everybody got along real well. It was cool hanging out with all the other recruits. LT Filiaga was my host. He married my sister just recently so it was nice hanging out with family. Overall the whole weekend it was just a real fun."
With less than three weeks until signing day many Utah fans are probably wondering whether or not this commitment will stick. In the recruiting game 'it 'aint over 'till it's over' and even then strange things can happen – especially when it comes to high-profile recruits such as Lotulelei. Will Lowell be swayed as signing day approaches?
"I'm pretty solid with my commitment to Utah. There's nothing else going on with my recruitment, I don't have any more visits scheduled. So no, I don't see anything changing my mind. This is it, I'm done."
Utes Land Lowell
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