At a school known for its high-powered offense, Folsom (Calif.) outside linebacker Ariel Ngata is making college coaches check the defensive film from the Bulldogs.
The 6-4, 215-pound Ngata has a dozen offers from the West and other schools are keeping tabs on him.
Ngata moved to the Sacramento area from Reno before his junior year, but he wasn't necessarily a Pac-12 fan growing up.
"I watched a lot of Big 12 football so I was always a Big 12 fan," said Ngata. "Texas Tech, Texas, I watched them mostly. I didn't see a lot of Pac-12 football. I started loving the Pac-12 more when I started watching them."
And Pac-12 schools now have his attention.
"I'm focusing on the Power 5 schools and really the Pac-12 schools," said Ngata. "Nothing is for certain right now, everything is still open. But I'm heading towards a decision before the season."
Ngata said his top five is mostly from his offers, but schools that offered in the future would be considered.
"Right now, in no order, my top five is Washington, Oregon, Utah, Washington State and BYU, but if someone new offers, I'd give them a chance to move in."
Ngata has visited Washington and went to Cal for their Junior Day and he'll visit Oregon this spring.
"I took an unofficial to Washington in late February," said Ngata. "Coach (Bob) Gregory is recruiting me but I talk with Coach Pete (Chris Petersen) a lot. I went to Cal for their Junior Day. And I'm planning another unofficial visit, this one to Oregon."
Ngata said that Michigan and Arizona State appear to be the next schools that could offer but he's not ruling out Cal or UCLA in joining that group.
Where he'll play in college is still up for discussion.
"I'm being recruited more as a hybrid, a stand up pass-rusher," said Ngata. "Oregon and Washington see me as that hybrid that can rush at the stand up end. I'm hoping to get up to 220, where I'm heavy enough to play effectively at outside linebacker but still fast."
Ngata said by the time Folsom's season starts, he'd like to have a decision made.
"I want to decide by the end of August, before our season starts," said Ngata.
Academically, Ngata has a 3.3 and will take the SAT this spring.