Kuli Down to Three

Five-star junior college prospect Simi Kuli holds many scholarship offers from programs around the nation, however the Torrance, Calif., standout has now narrowed the field down to three lucky programs. Oklahoma is a program that has found themselves in that final field and hopes to nail down the lineman when he visits this September.

Defensive end Simi Kuli pretty much had his pick of the litter when it came to where he wants to spend the next few years of his collegiate experience, however the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end has now narrowed that list of suitors down to three outstanding programs in Nebraska, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. We caught up with Kuli to see what his experience has been like with the Sooner staff so far.

"Right now I have a final three of Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Nebraska and plan to visit Nebraska during the second week of August and Texas A&M and Oklahoma some time in September," Kuli explained. "I want to get my unofficial visits out of the way as soon as possible and then make a decision during the beginning of the season. Right now all of the schools are on the same level so I feel like when I can get onto each campus and get a feel for what it's like there I'll have a better idea of which program is best for me."

"Academics, environment, quality of program and the people I will be surrounded by at school are all factors that come to mind when I think of what is really important to me when making this decision," Kuli added. "I have found out at this point that all three schools have great programs and winning traditions, so I feel like each visit I take will bring me one step closer to realizing where I am most comfortable. I guess at this point it is all about just meeting the coaches and players and getting a feel for campuses."

Much has been said of the familiarity Kuli has with the Nebraska program, but don't mistake that as ignorance or ambivalence towards the other two. He is very familiar with both A&M and Oklahoma and spoke to us about his particular thoughts on both the Sooner coaching staff and program.

"Coach (Chris) Wilson has been recruiting me and is a really good guy who I speak with regularly at this point," Kuli said. "While we do spend time talking about football he also takes the time to ask me how my schooling and family are. He comes off as a very good guy and seems genuine."

"I have spoken to Head Coach (Bob) Stoops a few times and he has called and checked up on me quite a few times to see how my family and I have been doing," Kuli stated. "He is also a really good guy and spends a lot of time talking with me about things off the field, so from talking to both coaches you can see they really care about you on and off the football field at Oklahoma."

One thing that has yet to happen for Kuli is a visit to Norman which will be remedied soon with a September visit to meet with the Oklahoma coaches and players. He did talk to us about what he likes about the program and was pretty familiar with some specifics of the Sooner defense.

"I haven't visited yet, but that doesn't matter at this point because Oklahoma has a lot to like without even having to visit," Kuli explained. "The staff is full of excellent coaches and the program is excellent. I have a print out at home of all the All-Americans they have had, all of the players they have put into the NFL and some miscellaneous information about national championships and records there. There is just a great tradition of success at Oklahoma and that is obviously very attractive."

"One of the other things I like a lot about them is that they send a lot of defensive linemen to the league. I watched their defense this year and paid close attention to Larry Birdine as we play the same position. They moved him inside at times on stunts and also switch their ends from the strong side to the weak side a lot and that fits me because I am versatile enough to do all of those things. When I spoke to the staff about playing time there they said there would definitely be an opportunity to start, so I know all I would have to do is get in there and get down to business from the start."

In ten games playing strong side defensive end for El Camino Junior College in 2006, Kuli posted 50 tackles, 15 of which came for a loss, five sacks and registered 20 quarterback hurries. He also had one fumble recovery.

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