By Andrew Gorringe
For Salua Masina, the recruiting game is no stranger to him, as he has watched two older brothers (Uaea Masina and Osa Masina) go through the process themselves, but for the 2018 linebacker/defensive end prospect, the recruiting process is just getting started.
At 6’2-215, Salua is impressive in stature, but he also is impressive on the field for the Brighton Bengals, where he currently plays outside linebacker on a defense that has 5 or 6 sure fire division one football players. High school football can be a big transition for players coming up from little league of sophomore leagues, and Salua is right in the middle of that transition. After a big win vs Taylorsville, Masina wasn’t satisfied with his performance and pointed out that he needs to play older than he is. “Mostly I just need to quit acting like I’m a sophomore out on the field. I act too much like a sophomore out there, and I act scared sometimes. I just need to act like I’m older out there and the biggest out on the field, because I am.” That’s not such an easy task to handle for most players, as it can sometime be intimidating to be surrounded by upper classmen, but Masina believes he’s up to the challenge. “It’s just all in the head. All my teammates are out there telling me to act like I’m older, and not to play scared. It can be hard, but they help me out a lot.”
Off the field, Masina’s recruitment really took off in the middle of July, when the hometown Utes of Utah extended him an offer. “The offer came as a surprise to me, totally. It was a huge surprise. I had been talking to Utah all the time, but I didn’t expect them to offer me so early.” In addition to the surprise offer, Salua has been keeping in contact with the head man himself, as he says head coach Kyle Whittingham has been the coach he’s spoken with the most. “My relationship with Kyle is good. Since Uaea is there I get to talk with a lot of the coaches, but it’s all good right now.”
Having a brother on the team will certainly help the Utes out early in the recruitment for Salua, as he says it definitely plays a factor for him, even though they won’t get to play with each other due to age. “Having Uaea there makes me more comfortable with Utah. They all know me there, so it’s good.”
Though Masina currently plays linebacker for the Bengals, most anticipate him playing defensive end in college, as he’s still growing, and believes himself that he will be bigger than both of his brother. The biggest one is USC true freshman Osa, who stands 6’4-245lbs.
With it being very, very early on in the process for Salua, he’s not receiving a whole lot of interest from schools other than Utah, but did state he talked a lot in the offseason with USC, mainly due to the fact that older brother Osa is a freshman there. It’s a long ways till signing day 2018, but Salua Masina should cement himself as one of the premier recruits in the state of Utah for that class.