Even as a junior this past season, Solomon Tuliaupupu was already one of the nation's top linebacker prospects. Currently rated the No. 36 player in the country, Tuliaupupu is one of those rare linebackers who has the ability to play outside or inside and has the size, athleticism and toughness to play as an every down 'backer in college.
He's a physical player who loves to hit, runs well, can blitz off the edge and run down plays run away from him but has the toughness and strength to take on a blocker and make a play as a run stuffing inside guy. He's a high motor player who plays with great intensity and his upside is extremely high as a next level prospect.
He's also a high character kid off the field and someone you can envision being a captain at some point in college. On Sunday, Tuliaupupu shaved all his hair off and donated it to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
Tuliaupupu, who played at Claremont the last three years but will play his senior year at Mater Dei, has scholarship offers from schools all over the country and plans to check out several of those programs this spring and summer.
"I'm going to try and get out and see as many of those schools as I can," Tuliaupupu said. "I'm going to try and hit up Stanford, Cal, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Washington if I can. I know I'll be around USC and UCLA a lot as well so I'll check out those programs too.
"I've been BYU and Utah already and I visited Washington this past season when they played USC. That was a great atmosphere and a beautiful school and campus. I really like the coaching staff a lot and you can tell they're driven to build something special. We toured the campus and the football facilities and I liked it a lot there."
Although in no hurry to narrow his list down or make a decision, Tuliaupupu said there's a handful of schools he's talking with more than anyone else right now.
"I talk with USC, Ohio State and UCLA the most," Tuliaupupu said. "With USC, I talk with Coach Nansen and Coach Helton. They had a great season and really came on towards the end of the year. They have a lot of talent and playing with other great players, that competition level is how you get better and the location being close to home is nice too.
"With Ohio State, I talk with Bill Davis, the LB Coach and my dad talks with Urban Meyer all the time. They have a great program and I'm interested in learning more about them. I talk to Coach Scott White at UCLA almost every day and were trying to set up a visit to come by the school. Coach White helps me a lot, he breaks down my film and tells me some things I need to improve on."
As for a timeframe for a decision, Tuliaupupu said he won't be making his decision any time soon.
"I want to take all my visits and go through the recruiting process," Tuliaupupu said. "I want really do my research, leave no stone unturned and make sure I'm picking the right school for me.
"The biggest things I'm looking for is a school that will develop me as a player and a man, a school with strong academics that will help me after I'm done playing football and where there will be great competition to help me become the best player I can be."
To see Tuliaupupu in action from his junior season, check out his highlights below: