Tuli Wily-Matagi was solid to Utah for over half a year, but in the past few weeks, had been exploring a few options. After taking an official visit to Colorado and Washington State, Wily-Matagi was facing some tough decisions. When both coaches that offered and recruited him left Utah for Oregon State, that made the decision even tougher.
"Originally, I was planning to stick it out with the Utes," Wily-Matagi began. "I really like the University of Utah and thought very highly of the program. I loved Coach Sitake and Tuiaki and even Coach Christensen. They were primarily talking to me about defenseive end, but Coach C was open to giving me a shot at tight end too. I definitely like the idea of planning offense."
That's part of what makes Tuli-Matagi such an intriguing prospect. He played quarterback throughout his high school career and was getting a look at QB from Hawaii. He also had offers as a defensive end from Washington State and Utah, while Colorado was looking at him to play tight end. But, position wasn't the deal breaker for Tuli-Matagi, family was.
"My family was the main reason I flipped," Wily-Matagi explained. "My mom and stepfather live a few hours north of Corvallis. I have my baby daughter and soon to be wife coming out with me and the support of mom will be huge. I really like the idea of having them so close. A lot of people are going to say I flipped for a bunch of reasons, but at the end of the day, it was about getting the support I need."
There were other key factors in his decision.
"I talked to Coach Baldwin and he really likes me at tight end," Wily-Matagi claimed. "He watched my tape and said that's where they like me best. When I looked at their roster, I saw a few senior tight ends graduating and also felt like I could compete for playing time early. That's a big deal."
"Also, my relationship with the coaches up there is good. At Wisconsin, Coach Chad and Andersen were in contact with me and wanted to offer me, but had no room. I got to know them at All-Poly and really liked them. Along with my two favorite coaches at Utah, it felt right. I'm excited to get to work up there."
Wily-Matagi will be visiting Corvallis January, 23rd for his official visit.