With all of the recruiting attention he’s already received, Toailoa is planning to slow things down a bit and keep his focus between the lines.
“I’m just taking a little step back from recruiting right now and focusing on the season,” said Toailoa. “It’s too early to focus on recruiting and to cut teams out, so now that the season is starting, my focus is on my team.”
Still, before he made that decision, Toailoa enjoyed the dialogue with coaches and being able to consider a number of schools.
“It seems surreal because it’s a process that everyone wants to go through,” said Toailoa. “It did happen fast but at the same time, it’s what I’ve been working towards.”
“I went to two of USC’s practices and they were nice, high intensity and everyone flying around,” said Toailoa. “They were banging heads and it was fun to watch. I like Coach (Peter) Sirmon a lot, we’ve been in touch since my freshman year. He’s a pretty cool guy. Coach (Justin) Wilcox, I like him a lot too.”
While he had to drive to Los Angeles to see USC, UCLA’s practices were not far from his house.
“UCLA was practicing ten minutes away from me so we got over there a few times,” said Toailoa. “I liked their practices too, they were high temp as well and there was a high energy level there. Coach Meat (Demetrice Martin) and Coach (Jeff) Ulbrich are both recruiting me and I like them. They’re pretty up-tempo guys and straight up.”
Toailoa will see plenty of both come fall.
“I’ll be going to every UCLA and USC home game because they’re not far from me,” said Toailoa.
The No. 1 ranked middle linebacker in the 2016 class, Toailoa said that he’s embraced that ranking, but he expects more from himself.
“I already have high expectations for myself and with all the workouts at the high school and with my 7on7 team Ground Zero, all they’ve drilled in to us was to be the best we can be, so I expect more from myself,” said Toailoa.
Toailoa is a big hitting linebacker, but said the 7v7 circuit helped him round out his game.
“It helped me in covering space and becoming more athletic and using my feet and hips more,” said Toailoa. “I can take that to my game and raise it more.”
Toailoa put on 13 pounds since the spring and said he thinks he’ll add even more weight by the time he gets on a college campus.
“I’m 225 now but I’ll probably get a little bigger, but in a good way, so I can move and carry myself well still, in college,” said Toailoa.