Junior to watch: DL Fili Moala

One of the top defensive players in Southern California next year will be Western HS defensive lineman Fili Moala. Fili (6'6", 295) has started on both sides of the ball since his sophomore year for the Pioneers and his coach says he is athletic enough that he could see an interesting switch this season.

"In my experience I've never seen a guy at the high school level who is that athletic for his size," says Western coach Toby Howell. "He usually plays as a nose tackle for us but next year we might play him at middle linebacker because on the line he is double and triple teamed all the time and this would give him the opportunity to make more plays. Fili is a phenomenal athlete who runs a 5.0 in the 40, he's a little freaky really because when you see his frame you would expect that kind of frame on a guy who is 6'2", 190 but with him you just add 4 inches and 100 pounds. He is sculpted, just an absolute specimen."

"His stats haven't been overwhelming, he may have had sixty tackles last year with 3 or 4 sacks but that's because he was being double and triple teamed all year long. There were a few times when he was Player of the Game for us with only 3 tackles because he had such an impact on the other team when they had to use 2 or 3 blockers to contain him. He was pretty much a well kept secret for most people after breaking his arm and missing half of his sophomore season but now he has come on strong and everybody knows about him. He doesn't play any other sports even though he could be good at anything but he is just a weight room warrior who wants to focus on getting better at football."

"He received a few early offers last year from schools like Colorado State and San Jose State but all the big schools are sending information now and saying they will be coming by during May to take a look. I don't know if he'll last that long, though, because he really likes USC. They offered, he's been up to campus a few times and he's just really high on them right now. Fili is expected to qualify but he was like a lot of high school kids who had some fun early on and is now realizing the opportunities that are available to him at the next level if he takes care of his schoolwork and he should be fine."

Moala will attend the Nike Camp at USC in April.

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