Su'a-Filo Starts Setting His Visits

Provo (Utah) Timpview's Xavier Su'a-Filo, the #7-ranked offensive tackle in the nation, denies having a leader among the colleges recruiting him, but he's starting to set up official visits, and he talks about the schools that could get one...

Xavier Su'a-Filo, the 6-foot-5, 285-pound four-star offensive tackle from Timpview High School in Provo, Utah, has a who's who list of scholarship offers (23 total) and Su'a-Filo remains noncommital about a leader or favorites.

"I haven't really started narrowing it down at all," said's no. 7 offensive tackle. "I'm still wide open and probably won't have a top five until closer to the end of my season. I really want to think about everything and figure out what I want the most from the school I choose. I want to come up with some goals and find a place where I can achieve them.

"I want to find a school where I'm comfortable and the kind of place where I can see myself living for four to five years," he said. "It's the biggest decision of my life."

Although he denies a leader, Su'a-Filo has already scheduled a trip to No. 5 LSU on Nov. 4 for the Alabama game. He's also close to setting up a visit with No. 1 USC.

"Gary Crowton (LSU offensive coordinator) used to coach at BYU and my coach is a BYU alum and really likes him," he said. "I got into LSU because of them. I went to a camp there last summer and this summer and really liked it.

"They have amazing facilities and the campus is great," Su'a-Filo said.

Su'a-Filo also attended the epic game last year between LSU and Florida. "That was one of the most memorable experiences of my life," he said.

"The environment in the south is amazing and it's like a religion down there. Also the tailgating before was crazy. They just take it all to a whole other level. They are just so passionate and loud. I had goose bumps the whole time. Plus, the game went into double overtime and that was pretty incredible."

Another big game that Su'a-Filo attended was the USC/Ohio State game on Sept. 13. "That was my first time at the Coliseum and it was awesome," he said. "They are a powerhouse team and I loved getting to interact with all the players and see what it's all like there. It actually reminded me a little of the LSU/Florida game, but then it turned into a blowout."

Su'a-Filo admits that the Trojans lopsided victory over the Buckeyes is what has impressed him the most so far this season. "Ohio State is a good team, but USC was ready to play."

In fact, Su'a-Filo says he'd like to see a USC/LSU national championship. "I'd love to see that game," he said. "It would be a great matchup and even though the SEC is such a tough conference it seems like USC knows how to bring it against the big teams."

Su'a-Filo is being recruited by Trojan assistant head coach Steve Sarkisian and he says he's close to setting up an official visit with them. "I should have a trip set with USC soon," he said. "That'll be the next one.

"I like coach Sarkisian and he told me that they want me for offensive tackle and thinks that I could really make an impact for them."

Su'a-Filo also attended No. 11 BYU's home opener this year against Northern Iowa. "BYU is only 30 minutes away but that's not a huge concern for me," he insisted.

The Cougars were the first ones to offer Su'a-Filo before his junior season.

During the summer he attended camps at LSU and Stanford and also visited UCLA.

"Stanford is really beautiful," he said. "I love the area and Palo Alto was really great. I love the weather there too.

"The team is young and the coaches are doing good things there," he said. "Coach Jim Harbaugh has some big plans for their future, but it's tough for them because of their academics. They can't recruit everyone because it's such a prestigious program. Stanford said they'd like me to get a 24 ACT," he said.

Su'a-Filo says he was also being taken back by the UCLA campus. "It's just different there," he said. "The dorms are like apartments and it looks like a college you see in the movies or on TV. It's just an unreal place."

He says he was also impressed with the attitude of new head coach Rick Neuheisel. "He's a great guy," Su'a-Filo said. "He brought in some great coaches and I expect them to be getting better. It's just gonna take some time and they're probably gonna keep struggling a bit this season."

"I really want to go to a program that wins," he said. "We've won the state championship and I hate losing. I want a program that is used to competing for national championships and bowl games."

He insists he hasn't restricted his focus and denies eliminating anyone off his list. Up-and-coming programs have an excellent shot. "BYU is a good example," Su'a-Filo said. "I'm definitely still considering them even though they don't normally compete for a national championship. It's a matter of being in a BCS conference and they aren't, but they are still a great team."

Su'a-Filo says he followed Miami as a youngster. "I was too young to remember, but I heard they wore army camo off the plane to a bowl game," he said. "I don't know why, but I liked that and I watched some of their classic games and really like the way they played. I became a fan of the Hurricanes and love their colors and uniforms and all the great players too."

Timpview High School is currently 4-0.

"I have quick feet and I'm pretty athletic," Su'a-Filo said. "I can get down the field fast too. Most guys my size can't keep up with linebackers or defensive ends like I can. I'm also a good leader on the field, but I know there are a lot of improvements I can make.

"I want to get better at run blocking and driving my guy to the ground," he said. "I also really need to improve my upper body strength (benches 185-pounds 20 times) and be a better pass blocker."

He reports a 3.3 core GPA and is taking the SAT on Oct. 4 and the ACT on Oct. 25.

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