Another School To Consider

Xavier Su'a-Filo wasn't thinking about Notre Dame, and as far as he knew, they weren't thinking about him either. The four-star offensive lineman from Pleasant Grove, Utah was getting plenty of attention from major-college programs across the country, and he and his family were putting their time into learning about and planning trips to those respective schools.

As of this week, Notre Dame has now found themselves in the mix.

A couple days ago, Xavier Su'a-Filo was called out of class by Timpview High head coach Louis Wong, and told to contact the Irish coaching staff.

"I was thinking what, this is crazy," Su'a-Filo said. At that point, he had never been in any kind of contact with Notre Dame.

As it has now turned out, the first piece of mail the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Su'a-Filo ever opened from the Irish staff was a written scholarship offer. He now has 12 offers to sift through, and likely plenty more on the way.

"I got to talk to the offensive line coach first," Su'a-Filo began. "Coach (John) Latina, he was telling me why they were calling and what was going to happen. He said they watched my film and they were impressed.

"Then I got to talk to (head) coach (Charlie) Weis. He seemed like a real nice guy. He started out with a joke about one of his cornerbacks. He told me his corner kept bugging him, asking him why I'm not on kickoff return. He kept dropping the ball. He said if I give you one more chance and you drop the ball, you're cut. He asked me if I thought that was fair and I said yeah and started laughing. I think what he was basically trying to tell me was if he gives you a chance you better not blow it.

"After that he introduced himself to me," Su'a Filo continued. "He said I'm coach Weis the head coach of the University of Notre Dame and I'm calling to offer you a scholarship. They looked at my film and thought I was good player and he asked me how I felt about it. I was excited. I told him I don't know much about Notre Dame, I haven't been out there. I told him I've heard nothing but good things about their tradition and how they do things out there. I'd like to go take a look and see what they have, because Notre Dame is big time."

So is Su'a-Filo.

BYU and LSU were the first two programs to offer. Since then, USC, Tennessee, Auburn, Miami, Arizona, Utah, Washington State, Stanford and Colorado have also sent over written scholarships. UCLA, Florida and Penn State have verbally offered.

Soon after talking to Weis, Su'a-Filo notified his parents about his latest offer.

"We think that's someone he is going to take a serious look at," Ifi Su'a Filo said. He walked-on at BYU before transferring to a junior college. "We don't know a whole lot about Notre Dame except they have a very rich tradition. They're kind of one of the mainstays in college football. I know Notre Dame has offered a friend of Xavier's that lives in Hawaii, Manti Te'o. I actually grew up with his dad. They're not the best of friends but they're friends and that's kind of appealing."

While Su'a Filo has caught fire recently, racking up nine scholarship offers over the last two weeks, the five-star Te'o has been on the mind of college recruiters for quite some time.

"He's been in the recruiting process for awhile now," Su'a-Filo said. "When it started for me, I called him and asked him a few questions about it. He told me he did get a chance to shake the linebackers coach and coach Weis' hand when they came to the school, but they couldn't really talk to him because he was a junior. But he thought it was cool they were there."

Su'a-Filo hasn't gotten a chance to tell Te'o about his latest offer. Notre Dame didn't tell Su'a-Filo where they like him on the offensive line. This past fall, Su'a-Filo played right tackle and helped lead Timpview to a 13-0 record and a 4-A state championship. He was named 1st team all-state.

"They just like how I can move really fast," Su'a-Filo said of what colleges are telling him. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds. "We have this play where it's designed to pull one offensive tackle. I love leading for the running back with my speed, just go and pick up a linebacker or a defensive back. They like how aggressive I am and how physical I hit, and they say there aren't too many offensive linemen running like that.

"I'd like to play tackle, or learn multiple positions, wherever I could fit best."

It's going to take Su'a-Filo some time to figure out where he fits best on the next level.

"In the summer, I'm taking some unofficial visits with my parents to see where I can fit and narrow some things down. I think we're going to come out to Notre Dame this summer."

Su'a-Filo also mentioned Florida, Miami, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Stanford, USC and UCLA as possible destinations.

"I'm just looking for where I can best fit in on the team, and the best place for me to put myself in position to make it to the next level," he said. "The NFL, that's the goal."

Su'a-Filo, who also has a 3.2 GPA, also has one other request of the school he signs with. He wants to go on a Mormon mission during his college years.

"Coach Weis already took care of that," Su'a-Filo stated. "He asked me if I was Mormon, and he asked me if a mission was something I was planning on doing. He said just so you know, lets get this out of the way so it doesn't come up in the future, if you want to go on a mission that's cool. I thought that was pretty neat." Top Stories