At 6'7, 259 lbs, Polo Manukainiu is a daunting presence on the defensive line. The former rugby standout, and current Trinity High star has become one of the most heavily recruited defensive ends in America.
"I'm physical, I'm a team leader, and I keep my team humble."
Manukainiu has scholarship offers from Baylor, Oklahoma , Texas A&M, Miami, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, SDSU, UCLA, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington State, and Colorado.
With 15 offers on the table, Manukainiu, has taken unofficial visits whenever an opportunity presented itself. Polo has taken unofficial visits to Arkansas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and plans to visit Miami next week while he's in the area attending a family reunion.
The #34 ranked DE in the country had scheduled to take a visit to Utah last week, but due to some last minute complications, Manukainiu was unable to make the trip, though he plans on officially visiting Utah during the season.
The 4 star DE recently learned that his knee was injured a little more seriously than expected.
"I just got back from Arkansas and found out I tore something in my leg. I'm in strong rehab right now, and will be back by the 3rd game. My PCL and my meniscus. The doctor said I was lucky. "
On Tuesday, the massive DE announced his top 5 schools, in no particular order.
"Baylor, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Utah and UCLA."
Polo's primary recruiters from Utah have been Morgan Scalley and Kalani Sitake.
"[Utah] wants me there early so I could fight for a spot my freshman year, and then start my sophomore year. Because they know I have potential. They've come to a game during the football season and saw me play, then they came in the spring, and saw I got faster and stronger and more physical."
As a polynesian athlete, Manukainiu is familiar with the culture at the University of Utah.
"They've got some Polynesian coaches, so they understand where Polynesians like me, and the Polynesians at that school, what it was like growing up."
Utah has had success attracting Polynesian athletes out of Trinity High School in Texas. In 2010, Utah signed a Trinity HS product.
"I've got a good friend who went to my school. He's a defensive lineman up there. LT Tuipulotu. Then I've got a friend who I knew in junior high with here in Texas, but then he moved to Bingham in South Jordan. His name is Seni (Fauonuku)."
Utah's move to the Pac 12 also seems to have impressed Manukainiu.
"I think it was a good move because the Pac 12 is my second favorite league. They play teams from the west coast, which is where I'm from. They play teams like UCLA, USC and Stanford, which would be good too."
Manukainiu Names Top 5
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