Jonathan Lolohea has hardly had an opportunity to unpack at his new home in Wesson, Mississippi, yet he is already receiving a pile of mail from numerous different 4-year programs. The big defensive tackle played at Los Angeles Valley last fall and only decided to transfer just after the season wrapped up.
“Right after the season, the coaches at Copiah gave me a call as word had gotten out that I needed to look for a new opportunity. They offered me a scholarship. I took it as a blessing that they reached out, so I prayed about it and now I’m out here,” Lolohea told BeaverBlitz.
In the week and a half that he has been in Wesson, he has already seen offers come in from seven different programs including Oregon State. Arizona was his first offer with the Beavers offering just two days later and followed by San Jose State, Colorado State, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana Lafayette and most recently Fresno State.
“Most schools are recruiting me as a 3-tech, but some 3-4 teams are looking at me as a 4I, a 3-4 D-end type. As of right now, everyone is pretty much on even footing although I’m always going to kind of lean towards the Pac-12 because it’s the west coast and it is one of the highest caliber conferences there is.”
The interest from the Beavers is not that new actually, as they first took in Lolohea while checking in on a former LA Valley Monarch and recent Beaver signee, Clay Cordasco.
“Clay Cordasco is actually one of my closest friends. We got to play together last year down at LA Valley. So I know some things about OSU already, I know the weather is pretty nice.” Lolohea continued to outline what the early offer means to him as his recruitment progresses, “The fact that they offered me so early on shows me that they trust me with my capabilities and I will give them more thought throughout the process as they showed their faith in me before other programs did.”
Outside of his close friendship with Cordasco, there is another unique connection that the former Hawaiian prep athlete shares with OSU. Jonathan has a family member on the coaching staff.
“Coach Chad is recruiting me and my mom actually just told me the other day that we’re related, somehow… Our conversations have been developing as I’m getting settled in here and he’s got spring ball going on. I actually heard from my high school coach who had been in touch with Coach Chad, and they were talking about me going to Oregon State and how I would have a good opportunity to start right off the bat.”
As spring ball moves along for the Beavers and other programs get theirs started, Jonathan hopes to get out to see some of the programs that have offered him. While some of the more distant teams will have to wait until fall for official visits, he knows what is most important to him in his recruitment.
“I’m really looking for a school where I can have a strong relationship with my d-line coach and the defensive coordinator. That relationship throughout the recruiting process will be most important.”
Lolohea plans on graduating this upcoming December and enrolling there for winter term. He will have a redshirt season available but plans on playing immediately at the school of his choosing.