UCLA Impresses 2014 D-Lineman

Ainuu Laua, the 2014 Lompoc defensive lineman, recently took an unofficial visit to UCLA and was in the stands when the Bruins beat Nebraska at the Rose Bowl...

Lompoc High School had a magical run last season, finishing the year at 14-0, and 2012 has been no different with the Braves getting off to another perfect start, thanks in large part to the play of 2014 defensive lineman Ainuu Taua.

Two weeks ago the Braves were forced to face Dos Pueblos without star tailback Lavon Coleman, who was sidelined with a bruised thigh, but were able to keep their unbeaten streak alive with a strong defensive effort that included three quarterback sacks by Taua.

"I like my performance so far. I think that was the best game that I have had this year," said Taua, who played both defensive tackle and defensive end in the win. "I like to play both. I like to get outside contain (at end) and I feel like on third-and-short I will go down to nose guard because I like to stuff the run."

At 6-1, 270 pounds, Taua has the frame to play inside on the next level and has already caught the eye of several college coaches with his impressive play.

UCLA, Arizona, Hawaii, Utah and Washington are among the schools that have already come through with scholarship offers and Taua's recruitment is just starting to heat up.

"Recruiting is good and my grades are right," Taua said. "I get more and more letters everyday and I'm talking to more and more schools. It feels good."

The UCLA Bruins are the school that currently stands out from the pack.

"I like Coach (Jeff) Ulbrich. He's real cool. He coached my brother (Vai Taua) in Seattle. He treats me right and they say that they are on the rise," Taua said. "They are just telling me all kinds of inspirational stuff."

Taua recently took an unofficial visit to UCLA and was in the stands when the Bruins upset Nebraska, 36-30, at the Rose Bowl.

"It was just a cool feeling. It was loud and a good game and good atmosphere," said Taua, who was thrilled to watch a game in the world famous stadium. "It was sick to see the Rose Bowl sign. You always see it on TV and there it is right there. It was good."

Along with the Bruins, Taua also has interest in the crosstown rival USC Trojans.

"They have an up-and-coming defensive line that looks competitive and looks like they're going to eat someone," he said. "I had been talking to them but I am just focused on school right now."

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