It's been a long and winding road for MT. SAC JC defensive lineman Koliniasi Leota who's been all over due to the trials and tribulations of life. Now, he's ready to play some football with a recruitment that is picking up and interest from schools all over the country.
"My recruitment is going good. I just got off the phone with Coach Jethro (Franklin) from Miami (FL). We're just getting ready to finish up my papers for my trip for after the season. My first trip is up to Oregon State next month on the 8th."
With those two visits being nailed down, the 6-5, 265 pound defensive lineman has one other school that he's very interested in and plans on visiting.
"After the season I want to come out to the University of Utah. The program seems legit. It's a good school for my family too. The coaches make it seem like a good family environment. I'm excited to get out there and check out the program."
A married man with three youngsters at home, Leota is focusing heavily on schools that have a family atmosphere believes Utah may fit that bill.
"I have three daughters and I'm looking for a school that is big on family and will be there for me when I'm taking care of my family. I really want a school that talks a lot about family like Utah and Utah State have. Utah tells me that they have a lot of players that are married. I have been to Utah games because my brother (Lisi) played there, but I never got a chance to see the facilities and practices and I'm excited to see those."
Not in a rush to make a final decision of any kind, Leota has a top three and will decide after taking his visits.
"I just want to finish strong with my schooling and finish the season strong. My top three choices are Utah, Oregon and Miami. I like the way they take care of family and look out for you."
The versatile lineman plays at both the end and tackle spots for Mt. SAC and is willing to play either spot at the next level.
"I love both and I'll play either one. I love playing D-line so I don't mind which one I play."
With Utah's penchant for putting defensive lineman in the NFL over the past couple of years, with some of them Polynesian players, Leota may be the next in line should he choose the Utes.
"That's another reason I really like Utah. They have a ton of Polynesian players and a good D-line. The coaches push you to play hard. Coach Chad reminds me of the coach I have now. I'm excited to come out there. They said they are going to help me setup it up after my season, but not to worry about it right now."
Leota's working hard off the field as well and is on track to be a mid year qualifier, allowing him to join a school in January.
"I'm a mid year. Me and Junior Salt, we are mid year transfers so we'll be on campus for spring ball."
Salt is another player that the Utes have offered and has close ties to Leota. Whether or not the two end up playing together at the next level is unknown, but both are very high on the Utes.
"Junior really likes Utah. He wants to take his trips to see what is out there, but he really likes the Utes."
Utes Looking Good To Leota
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