Fili takes in some summer trips

It's like clockwork. Every year there seems to be a fantastic lineman out of the state of Utah. This year it's undoubtedly Simi Fili. Fili is a standout defensive tackle and was recently on the road taking in some trips to see some of the schools that have offered. A lot of things stood out to Fili about his recent trips.

Simi Fili is widely considered one of the top defensive tackles in the country. The 6-foot-4 and 315 pound standout from Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood recently was on a summer trip that took him to see three different campuses.

"We went to Tennessee, Nebraska and then Arizona State," Fili said. "It was a great trip. Every place had something a little different. I was in Tennessee two days, Nebraska two days and Arizona State two days."

The first stop took him the furthest away from home. There is little doubt that Tennessee left a good impression on the standout defensive tackle.

"I thought that Tennessee was wonderful. It's a big time school and it's in the SEC. It has a big stadium and a beautiful campus. It's a wonderful program. It was nice and the river up to the stadium."

After Tennessee it was on to Nebraska. He saw many similarities and was also somewhat surprised by what the city had to offer.

"I went to Nebraska after Tennessee. Nebraska was really kind of the same as Tennessee. Lincoln is not that bad as some people say. They have a big stadium of their own. They have great facilities and really nice everything."

At Arizona State, there were some differences, but the biggest one was the chance to hang out with some of the players. Players that Fili could really relate to.

"Arizona State was really the same kind of deal. They have a great stadium and a wonderful tradition. I got to hang out with a lot of their players and most of them are Poly. That will have a factor. They told me a lot about Arizona State."

While the Poly players stood out at Arizona State at Nebraska it was another thing that really stood out the most. Fili really connected with who would be his coach, John Blake.

"The thing that really stood out about Nebraska was their defensive line coach. He was fired up. A fired up kind of guy. On the defensive side of the ball you always need to be fired up. You need a coach that keeps you at a high level."

"In high school, you have to really do that on your own. There aren't too many coaches that know the defensive mentality. Coach Blake was just really cool when he talked to me. He has coached in the league and played in the league. He has a Super Bowl ring. He showed me that."

"A lot of his front guys will be first rounders this year or will really be high round draft picks. It was really wonderful to get a chance to talk to him."

There are a couple of key things that Fili is looking for in a college. There isn't one bigger than the other and Fili knows that a school may have one more than the other. It will be a balance of the two with distance being a non-issue.

"Coaches and players are the two biggest things that I am looking at. Some programs have coaches and some have players. It's really kind of hard. I am looking for some balance there. Distance isn't a big deal to me at all."

Fili knows that he has to sit down and have a conversation with his parents about what he saw. Above that though, will be the things that Fili still wants to see.

"I am going to sit down with my parents and really evaluate what I have seen and really think about what I still want to see. We'll go from there. We really haven't sat down and talked about it yet."

"There are some key things got my attention on these trips about these programs. I think that the schools that I went to I will still consider for officials. I really don't know what I am going to do yet. I know that I want my parents to see these schools."

Fili has come up with a list of about five schools that he said consisted as his leaders right now. Not coincidentally four of the schools that are on his list happen to be schools that he has seen.

"I consider a few as my favorites. I would say that Nebraska is up there. There is Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Tennessee and Colorado are the schools (that are my favorites)."

"I had already been out to Oklahoma State. I haven't see Colorado yet. I don't really know a lot about them. I know that I am going to take a visit there."

Oklahoma State was really considered to be one of Fili's top favorites by many. One of the things that might give Nebraska and advantage now could be the impression of the coach that Fili really connected with at Nebraska.

"They compared very well. I will tell you one thing. It was the coach that really got me. That is the coach that is going to call you to ask if you want to go bar-be-que and that is the coach that I will be with. To my understanding that is the person that I need to get a long with."

"When I met other coaches they shook my hand. When I met Coach John Blake he just grabbed me and hugged me. I was like 'Hey, what's up!' He just said 'Oh hey what's up!'. He grabbed me and hugged me. I just felt warm there."


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