Commitment Analysis: Tyler Luatua
Profile: Tyler Luatua Position: Tight end Location: La Mirada, California Height: 6'3.5" Weight: 240 Rank: 3-star, No. 13 tight end in 2014 Player analysis from Scout.com national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins Luatua broke on to the scene as a sophomore and quickly became one of the state's hottest recruits. He has prototype size and athleticism for the tight end position and has been a very good defensive end as well. He has strong hands and catches the ball well in traffic. He's a coordinated athlete, doesn't look awkward running his routes or catching the ball in traffic like a lot of young tight ends and has the ability to really be a weapon in the red zone. Physically, Luatua really has every tool you could want in a college tight end and from that standpoint, his upside is very high. The question marks with Luatua have centered around his desire and passion for the game. He's a very quiet, almost shy person off the field and sometimes be brings that same attitude to the field. He'll need to be motivated by the Irish staff but if they can light a fire under him, he has a chance to be a very good player at the next level. Recruiting recap Luatua exploded onto the recruiting scene his sophomore year, and had offers from Alabama, California, Colorado, Nebraska and UCLA by the spring of his sophomore year. Entering the fall of his junior year, the likes of Notre Dame, Arizona State, Arkansas, Florida State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, UCLA, USC and Washington State had also extended offers. At this point, Luatua's leaders were Alabama and USC. Luatua first named Notre Dame among his leaders in the spring of his junior year, along with Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State and USC. He set officials to Alabama and Notre Dame back in the spring for his senior year, and from that point forward, it was an Irish-Tide battle, with Notre Dame holding the quiet lead. Luatua took his official visit to Notre Dame in October for the USC game, and then he took his official to Alabama in November. From then on, it was only a matter of time until Luatua made his pledge official to the Irish. Even though he went public with his commitment on Dec. 16 (his birthday), Luatua gave his pledge to Mike Denbrock during an in-home visit the first week of the December contact period. Quotables "Notre Dame is on me the hardest by far right now. I talk to Coach Denbrock all the time and they're showing me a lot of love. I have an official visit set up for (Oct. 18) and I'm excited to get out there. They have a great system and want to use me the same way they used Tyler Eifert, who was a 1st round pick last year." - Tyler Luatua "They see him as a Tyler Eifert type who can split out wide and cause a lot of matchup problems. He's big and physical enough to be a solid blocker and can catch the ball very well too. Notre Dame has really done a great job recruiting Tyler. It hasn't just been Coach Denbrock, we've had the OC, the TE coach plus coach Kelly has been here too so they're doing a great job." - La Mirada head coach Mike Moschetti "Tyler loves him (Denbrock). When he comes down to our school, he doesn't just meet with me or the players, he'll talk to all the teachers, the principal, he's just a very engaging guy. Tyler is very comfortable with him and likes how Notre Dame would use him in that offense." - Mike Moschetti "I was ready to get it (committing) done. I got to do it early in the morning with my dad there before he went to work so it was kind of cool. Alabama is a great school and my brother is happy there and likes it a lot. For me, Notre Dame was just a better all around fit and like I said, I'm just really excited about the opportunity to get out there." - Tyler Luatua What this means for Notre Dame Obviously, Notre Dame is known for producing NFL talent with regards to its tight ends, as well as moving the ball down the field on offense with multiple tight end sets. That starts with how the Irish recruit their tight ends. In recent years, Notre Dame has generally gotten its pick of who it wants at this position. In the 2014 recruiting cycle, the Irish missed early on Ian Bunting, who pledged for Michigan and Jeb Blazevich, who committed to Georgia. But, that paved the way for Nic Weishar to jump on board within that same week. Notre Dame values the position so much that its still recruiting a third tight end with vigor right now, even with close to a full class. Tight end Dalton Schutlz took his official visit to Notre Dame two weeks ago, and he received 477 pieces of mail from the Irish on Tuesday night as part of the Pot of Gold. Stanford may still be the front-runner here, but Notre Dame is coming on strong down the stretch. 2014 tight end depth Seniors - Ben Koyack, Troy Niklas Juniors - None Sophomores - Durham Smythe (RS), Mike Heuerman (RS) Freshmen - Nic Weishar, Tyler Luatua
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