Recruiting: Cowboys Add Moala

Just as we reported on signing day, the Oklahoma State coaching staff has been looking to add to the 2008 recruiting class with another linebacker signee and they have now officially done that with the signature of El Camino (Calif.) Community College linebacker Tolu Moala.

"I signed immediately after the spring practice on Friday," said the 23-year-old Moala. "I flew there with my wife, Elisa, and this had to be the right place for her and our baby girl (Titanoa). She is six months old."

Moala; who finished last season at El Camino with 25 tackles, 14 unassisted, 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks with both a fumble caused and recovered, said the two-day trip to Stillwater really impressed himself and his wife.

"What blew us off the charts was the warmth we felt," said Moala. "Everyone was really receptive and open and friendly. Then the facilities for me as both a player and a student were impressive. All the new building and the new improvements that they are making is so impressive.

"My wife was impressed with the community," continued Moala. "She went out with Coach (Tim) Beckman's wife and they looked at the community and were looking for apartments, and she found exactly the one she wants."

Moala was very open about his situation. He is a native of Inglewood, Calif., and attended Hawthorne High School where he was a standout player but for several reasons did not go directly to Division I. He has served a mission to the Mormon church. He was in Brazil for two years.

He played two years at El Camino C.C. which is the best program going in California junior college football right now. They won the state title a year ago. California schools do not compete in the other national bowl games. This past season El Camino had eight of the top 100 junior college prospects in the nation. Moala was not listed among them, but he is one of close to 20 players that signed with major schools out of El Camino.

"I tore my hamstring right at the start of the 2006 season," said Moala. "I only played in a total of about three games. I really wasn't back into it until we hit the playoffs. Then this season I thought I played good, but I played out of position at outside linebacker. I had to do that for the team, even though it was not the best for me."

Moala signed with BYU but said he had a discussion with the coach at BYU over the honor code. This honor code not only covers academics but morality in the LDS Church. He said the coaches informed him he could sit out a year and pay his own way or they could give him his release.

"My coaches (at El Camino) told me that OKlahoma State was looking for linebackers," said Moala. "They were the first ones to receive my release and they were interested but they were on spring break. I took a visit to Nevada-Reno, but I was still waiting to hear from Oklahoma State to see if they had an offer for me."

He heard, and he and his wife saw, and now OSU has added another linebacker.

When asked to describe himself as a player, Moala said, "My strength as a linebacker is my nose and instincts for the game. It is my ability to react to the ball and my speed. I have speed sideline to sideline and I can get to the point of attack on the run. Foot work, my teammates and coaches have always said theat I have good foot work."

This will drive up the competition at inside linebacker with Orie Lemon and Justin Gent there this spring and now two junior college linebackers coming in for the fall.

Moala said he is finishing up classes at Grossmont C.C. near San Diego and will be in Stillwater for summer workouts. He said he is currently 6-0 and 3/4 inches and a little heavy at 235 pounds, but he will work on that.

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