RIALTO, Calif. — Carter junior linebacker Lokeni Toailoa has 17 scholarship offers, with his last coming Sunday night from Duke.
For most prospects, their junior season is the point in time when
college coaches take notice and scholarship offers are earned. With a
multitude of options already in hand and college coaches stopping by
Carter to watch him play, Toailoa is putting the blinders on.
“I took a little step back from recruiting because my main focus is
trying to in games here with my team, just like all of the college
coaches are doing with their teams,” said Toailoa. “I plan on doing
what I did last year and steeping it up a notch and just competing.
“Coming into this season, we have a lot of returners. We only lost
three or four guys from last season. We just set the bar high as a
team. We knew what we were capable of. We still haven’t reached it thus
far into the season. We’re just trying to get better each and every
Friday, Carter made quick work of Citrus Valley 44-3 with Toailoa
scoring a touchdown and a two point conversation on short runs. He also
had eight tackles, bringing his total on the five game season to 34.
As a member of the Ground Zero passing circuit team, Toailoa has used
the off season to dial down the speed of the game in pads.
“Well, passing league, it definitely slows Friday nights down,” said
Toailoa. “Passing league, we’re going up against some of the top guys
in the country. The Friday night speed doesn’t quite match the
seven-on-seven speed, so it definitely slows down the Friday nights.
“It helps my athleticism… really being able to make plays and run
sideline to sideline. It definitely helps with all of that.”
However, after an illegal peel back block on one particular play,
Toailoa was left looking up at the Friday night lights. To his credit,
he popped back up and kept playing.
“He got me,” laughed Toailoa. “I take my hat off to him. I was chasing
the quarterback and didn’t see him. But freshman year — of my first
varsity game — I was on special teams and someone hit me and I flew
five yards away, so that’s only the second biggest hit.”
With Carter’s homecoming being this weekend, Toailoa didn’t see any big
hits in person from USC or UCLA Saturday. However, the 6-foot-1,
215-pound linebacker did attend the USC-Oregon State game the week
“USC had a lot to prove this year having a new coaching staff coming in
from U-Dub and kind of changing the offense,” said Toailoa. “I like
what they’ve been doing so far despite the Boston College loss. I like
what they’ve been doing offensively and defensively.”
While Toailoa grew up a USC fan and flashed his Trojan gear Friday night, his coaches say UCLA is the school recruiting
him the hardest.
“It’s pretty much the same with UCLA,” said Toailoa. “I still make sure
to call them. I’m busy and they’re even busier. I try to call them
every week or every two weeks. When I’m at the games I make sure to let
them know I’m there.
“With both UCLA and USC, it’s pretty much the same thing. They ask how
am I doing, what workouts I’ve been going to, pretty much the same
thing it has been.”
17 scholarship offers and counting
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