Atofau Talks About UCLA Camp

Bellevue (Wash.) safety Jamal Atofau camped at UCLA last week and the three-star is hopeful that the Bruin staff could be extending him an offer...

Jamal Atofau, the 5-foot-10, 186-pound three-star strong safety from Bellevue, Wash., finished his junior season with around 50 tackles and two sacks. He helped lead Bellevue to an 11-2 record and a spot in the state semifinals where they lost to eventual champion Seattle O'Dea.

"I'm a hitter," Atofau said. "I break to the ball real fast and have great vision. I'm also a really good open field tackler and have good instincts."

Atofau benches 285-pounds and claims a 33-inch vertical jump.

"I want to be a little better all-around," Atofau admitted. "I really want to improve my speed and power and be more physical on the field. If I were stronger I could deliver a more powerful blow."

Ranked as the No. 57 safety in the country by Scout.com, Atofau has scholarship offers from Oregon, Washington State and Arizona.

He said he now favors Washington State slightly over Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and California. "I love Wazzou," he said. "Ever since I was little I used to watch them. They were always the underdogs and I love underdogs."

The Cougars were also Atofau's first scholarship offer (in April) and are recruiting him the hardest. "I really like the new coaches and I know like two guys (freshman defensive end Eric Block and sophomore wide receiver Keith Rosenberg) who go there from my high school so I'd already know some people there."

Wazzou is only five hours from Atofau's home and he admits that distance will be a factor. "I don't need to stay real close, but I probably won't leave the West Coast," he said. "I think California or maybe Arizona would be as far as I'd want to go."

Speaking of California, just last week Atofau attended the UCLA camp and says he was impressed with the Bruins. "It was a great camp," he said. "I think I did really well and they said they really like me and that they just need to get my grades before they can offer me.

"I liked getting to meet coach Rick Neuheisel," he said. "He's a players' coach and real fun."

Although Atofau likes the chances of the Bruins offering him, he says the school that seems closest to offering next is Oregon State. "I hear from them a lot," he said. "They send about as much mail as Washington State and they really like me. I think they are close to offering me."

While the Beavers might be next to offer, their in-state rivals, the Ducks, already have offered. "I really like Oregon," Atofau said. "They have a great team.

"They seem to really stick together over there and it's a great football atmosphere. I love all the facilities and the stadium is great."

Atofau doesn't plan on attending any other camps and hopes to make his decision before the season starts. "I want to get it all out of the way," he said. "I just want to focus on my senior season."


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