Cougs tracking American Samoa lineman

ONE OF THE top prospects coming out of American Samoa this recruiting cycle is a 6-3.5, 270-pounder who, while naturally strong, counts athleticism and the ability to run among his prized assets. The big question is where he might line up at the next level...

Tafuna Baptist's Fred Launia at this early stage is American Samoa's No. 2 prospect in the 2013 class behind LB Ben Waterhouse, says Brandon Smart, Executive Director of Field House 100 and a fountain of knowledge on the Samoa recruiting scene.

Launia has received most of his recruiting attention for his work on the offensive line, said Smart. WSU hasn't offered but should they do so at some point, there figures to be a healthy debate between OL coach Clay McGuire and Joe Salave'a, Washington State's d-line coach and area recruiter.

"I do know Joe Salave'a likes him. As for him playing o-line in college, Joe said, ‘That's fine, he can play whatever he wants to play…BUT I'm talking him on my side of the ball,'" laughed Smart.

BOTH WSU AND Oregon State are showing the most interest. And what makes Launia an intriguing prospect to them, said Smart, is his length.

"It allows him to take on bigger guys," said Smart. "And from an offensive lineman perspective, he can run and get to the second level... And so he really fits the zone scheme they run at Oregon State."

VERSATILITY AND ATHLETICISM can be overused terms in recruiting but Smart said American Samoa is full of 2013 prospects who can play multiple positions at the next level. And Launia is certainly among that group.

"He's a guy who can run, he's versatile and athletic. And he's big and strong and he's only going to get stronger. He can play a lot of different positions -- he can also be a DT, or even a defensive end. He has a lot of skills that are just now beginning to come out," said Smart.

Fred Launia profile

Launia attends Manumalo Baptist but they don't field a football team, so he plays for Tafuna. Launia is also a standout center for Manumalo on the hardcourt.

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