Brandon Huffman

Leki Fotu and family officially visit USC

Leki Fotu has emerged as one of the top prospects on USC's recruiting board, and this weekend, he and his family took a closer look at the program his mom calls the best of the best.

Herriman (Utah) three-star defensive end Leki Fotu arrived in Los Angeles Friday for his on his first official visit of the recruiting process.

It’s a process that started late for Fotu, who did not play football last season. In fact, it was his mother, Toa, who pushed him not playing football as a means to pay for college. This weekend, his family reviewed one of his options.

“My brother and I came with Leki and we did enjoy the trip,” said Toa Fotu. “I think the thing that stood out to me were the academics. This was our first time visiting USC, but it was a very good experience.

“The academic par of it was very, very important to me. Coach (Clay) Helton did avery good job of presenting the education and football parts of the school. Getting t be on the inside, and hearing from the staff in the program was enjoyable.”

Fotu was offered a scholarship by USC in December. Already committed to Utah, his decision will come down to the Utes and Trojans with an official visit set for Salk Lake City next weekend.

“We haven’t really talked about his decision as a family yet,” said his mother. “We have to visit Utah next week and then sit down and talk about what he wants to do. We want to make a decision right after that visit.

“Having gone through this with our two older boys, out of respect to the schools Leki doesn’t choose, we want to give them time to finish the process without him. Right now, we haven’t decided.”

Working in USC’s favor is both academic prestige and the campus.

“What I like about USC is that I see the future for Leki there,” said his mother. “He will get a great education for USC and it’s a tight knit family.

“Even with the campus, everything is close together. The football facilities are right there, the stadium is right there… it’s all close. I see the opportunities he will have at USC. The education was what I enjoyed the most.”

The Fotu family has more than just college to think about. Fotu is considered one of the nation’s best amateur rugby players. He has been invited to play for both the U.S. Mens Under 20 Olympic Team and the All-American World Cup Under 17 Team.

“It would be a dream come true to have our boy play for Team U.S.A,” said Fotu. “Leki wants to go, and I want him to go, but we have to work it out because it will interfere with school and his basketball team.

“If they beat Canada for the Under 17 Team, he would leave for two weeks. Then they would go to Zimbabwe for the World Trophy. That would be an issue because I think school will be out at that time. He is dying to go.

“He loves rugby and it’s a blessing to have these opportunities, but I forced him to play football this season. Everything was rugby for him, but he wants to go to college and I can’t afford that. So I put him into football and he got the scholarship offers.”

At 6-foot-6, and measuring in at 281-pounds this past weekend, Fotu has the athletic ability and frame college football team covet. Yet, his mother isn’t sure he has the size to play football.

“Looking at him next to these other players at USC, he’s so skinny,” she laughed. “He measured in at 281-pounds, but it must be all in his bones.

“I asked him, ‘Do you see how small you look next to these other play?’ He just looked at me and didn’t say anything. I don’t think he wanted to hear it, but only the best of the best go to USC. He has to be ready for that.” Top Stories