By Steve Bartle
Utah has had recent success not only on the field but on the local recruiting trail. This year, the 6’3 200 pound Cottonwood product, Taniela Pututau will be another important local prospect for the Utah coaching staff. With 2 older brothers already committed to Utah, in Howard & Fua, Utah should have a leg up on the competition.
"Recruiting is going good, I’ve got 8 offers right now, so I’ve got some good interest right now."
Taniela currently holds offers from Utah, BYU, Utah State, Oregon State, Colorado, Nevada, Army and Navy. But some big time programs are showing interest as well.
"Stanford, USC, Washington, and Washington State are starting to show lots of interest."
With those 8 offers, and the interest he’s receiving from other Pac 12 schools, it would be easy to see him having a Top 10 list.
"I don’t have a top 5 or anything. I want to wait until the end of summer to see where my interest is and put out my top 5.” As far as a leader goes Teniela wasn’t shy, “Right now, Utah is my top school. They keep in touch the most, they’re really supportive, which I really like.”
A big reason for Utah being his leader has to do with the relationship he has with the coaching staff.
"Coach Scalley is the coach recruiting me right now. He’s probably my favorite coach out of everyone. I met him at the end of my freshmen year, and he’s kept in contact with me ever since, and we have a strong relationship."
The opportunity to play with his brothers is also something that intrigues him, but won’t be as big of a factor like the education and how he fits with the team will be.
"I would say playing with my brothers is important. My parents are definitely pushing towards Utah, Byu too I guess, and Utah coaching staff is selling that to me as well. It’d be cool, but Howard’s been telling me to be open and do what’s best for me, but I think it’d be cool."
Taniela’s played WR/S his entire high school career but he’s continued to grow and college coaches see him as an OLB or DE, and he’ll play more of that this year.
“Utah, Washington State, and USC all see me as a DE. I’m the first one (of his brothers) to play offense and I’d like to play TE, but defense would be cool.”
Taniela is in no rush to make a decision. He wants to attend a few camps at Utah, as well as take visits to Stanford, Colorado, the Washington schools, and maybe USC during the summer.
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"I’ll probably wait until a week after the season ends to make my commitment, or I could do it before the season, I guess we’ll see."