Recruitment of Taula Explodes

The 6-4, 285-pound defensive tackle prospect from Anaheim (Calif.) Servite, Kirifi Taula, has become one of the most-sought defensive tackles in the west. He told us about how his recruitment has exploded and which schools are now on his list of favorites...

Anaheim (Calif.) Servite defensive tackle Kirifi Taula has quickly become one of the most heavily recruited defensive tackles in the West.

With double-digit offers, Taula's most recent came from one of the hometown schools. "I went to UCLA's camp on Sunday (the first day), and pretty much balled," said Taula. "They told me later that they were offering me. I was excited because I like UCLA and it's close to home."

The Bruins joined a list of suitors that includes Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington, Nebraska, San Jose State, Wake Forest and Utah, among others.

"I'm pretty open right now," said Taula. "I like UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington the most. But I'm not ready to make a decision. I want to take my official visits still." Taula said he'll likely visit Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington, and possibly Nebraska or Utah, if he decides to just take an unofficial to UCLA, given how close it is to home.

"I'm still hearing from some other schools like Cal, USC and Notre Dame," said Taula. "I did real well at the USC Linemen Camp and they said they'd be watching my games this year. Cal could be close to offering me, too."

The 6-4, 285-pound Taula said from the beginning he's wanted to stay in the Pac-10, and as close to home as possible. With more options coming from the Pac-10, that's becoming closer to a reality.

"Yeah, my family wanted me to be close to home and I wanted to play in the Pac-10, so I'm probably going to stay out here," said Taula.

Taula said that USC was the one school he grew up watching, and with several Servite players currently with the Trojans, including former teammates D.J. Shoemate and Matt Kalil, the Trojans will be a factor, should they offer.

But without a USC offer, Taula is concentrating on other schools.

"I'm really interested in the schools that have offered," said Taula. "Right now, Oregon State and Arizona are recruiting me the hardest and they were the first ones to offer, but Washington and UCLA are recruiting me pretty hard now, too. So we'll see what happens."

As a junior, Taula was a First Team All-Trinity League pick on the defensive line for the Friars, helping them to a share of the Trinity League title.

Academically, he has a 3.1 GPA and took the SAT last month.

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