Top Safety Pledges Oregon

Oregon picked up their second football commitment for the class of 2003 recently when A.J. Tuitele committed to the Ducks. Tuitele is considered one of the top safety prospects in the West and many were surprised by his early commitment.

The bigger surprise is that A.J. never received the expected offer from USC after growing up in the Los Angeles area as a Trojan fan. USC had been considered by most to be the team to beat, but Oregon had shown a lot of interest in A.J. and the feeling was mutual. Most of the Pac-10 did offer Tuitele a early scholarship in addition to some other big name football schools like Notre Dame and Nebraska. A.J. Tuitele is not a sleeper.

A.J. Tuitele is a very solid 5-11, 190, 4.5 forty RB/DB, who projects as a safety at the next level. Some even think he can succeed in college as a running back. Tuitele burst onto the prep football scene his sophomore year, rushing for 1400 yards in only nine games, then added another 1,245 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, resulting in All-State Underclass honors. However, the Banning HS star is also considered a dynamo and big hitter on defense who PacWest Football's Greg Biggins ranks as the #3 safety prospect in the West.

A.J. apparently wanted to end the recruiting process and enjoy his senior season, thus the early Oregon commitment. His coach, Ed Lalau, has said that the decision was well thought out and he considers it 100% solid. The Duck coaching staff must be all smiles after receiving this pleasant surprise.


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