TCU has landed defensive tackle Erza Tu'ua from Los Angeles (California) Harbor College on Monday night. The junior college product visited Fort Worth over the weekend.
Tu'ua's journey to TCU is an interesting one. The 6-foot-2, 315-pounder only played one year of high school football. After a decent first year at Harbor, the defensive tackle had a few early offers (Washington State and Cal). He knew going into his second season he would have to do big things to earn more.
Then the unthinkable happened. Tu'ua broke his foot.
"I had to decide if I was going to shut it down or continue to play on a broken foot," said Tu'ua. "It got quiet in recruiting. Everyone was silent. So I decided to go back in. I had to play enough games to wow some people."
Patterson was wowed. So was Colorado State and New Mexico.
What impressed during his trip to Fort Worth?
"Everyone knows the mainstays of college football. The teams that are always on TV. TCU is one of them," said Tu'ua. "Gary Patterson has changed the defensive game since he's been in Fort Worth. It wasn't real until I got to see him talk in person. He's friendly and kind. He really cares about football, but what the players become down the road - five to ten years down the road. Everyone knows TCU is hands down great football. But not many people get to see Patterson and how he wants his guys to be better citizens."
TCU is known for identifying sleepers. It wasn't a surprise to hear Tu'ua report Ole Miss called him shortly after he made his commitment on Monday, to try to convince him to visit.
"Coach Fitch was obviously very excited," said Tu'ua. "He played there and then in the NFL and is now coaching. He is excited about getting the opportunity to help me out and really show me the ropes of the game."
Tu'ua will sign his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 1.