How Cougs landed American Samoa NT

HE WAS A fluid prep tight end his senior season before he gained about 35 pounds of muscle -- he now projects as a 6-4, 290-pound nose tackle. And he's verballed to Washington State over several other Pac-12 programs. CF.C talks to the newest Coug and offers his highlight film…

Daniel Etuale has been receiving a lot of recruiting attention since before he graduated from Nuuuli Technical in Pago Pago last year, and had been offered by multiple Pac-12 programs, Brandon Smart, Executive Director of Field House 100 in American Samoa.

Etuale spent the last year state-side, working on his academics and in the weight room. This weekend while on an official visit to Washington State, he verbally committed to the Cougs. What made the difference for him?

The Cougs, since they first began recruiting Etuale, have consistently impressed upon him the importance of his education.

"I wanted to be part of their program.. Washington State was always more interested in me academically than other schools, they're not just interested in me for football," said Etuale.

Etuale's future position coach, Joe Salave'a, has been recruiting him for a long time and his influence was a big part of why Etuale is Wazzu-bound.

"Coach Joe always talks about how school comes first and that's the most important thing for me. I can play football (anywhere) but Coach Joe and Washington State are interested in helping me (get my degree.) He's a good guy and always encouraging us to do well academically. Football is not as important as school, and they've been great about walking me through everything," said Etuale.

ETUALE SAID HE checks in these days at 290 pounds.

"He's a big, physical kid that is moving from TE to DT," said Smart. "He runs extremely well for his size and he is powerful. And he loves the weight room."

"The Washington State coaches (this weekend) liked my highlights and told me how they see me fitting in there. They also talked a lot about my character," said Etuale.

Etuale said he's finishing up a final math class online in the coming months and that he then should be good to go. He said he'll arrive on the WSU campus later this summer and taking part in fall camp with the Cougs.

Click here for senior season highlights

Etuale becomes the Cougs' 28th known member of the 2013 class (including grayshirts OL B.J. Salmonson and WR Robert Lewis.) Etuale joins a group that also includes CB/WR Charleston White, S Montrel Meander, ATH Isaac Dotson, DE Paulo Lepua, OT Jacob Seydel, CB Daquawn Brown, DE Emmitt Su'a-Kalio, DE Lyman Faoliu, WR Vince Mayle, OT Matt Meyer, C Carlos Freeman, S Darius Lemora, DT Gerald Sterling, ATH Jamal Morrow, RB Olito Thompson, DE Malik Jenkins, S Myron Turner, OG Cole Madison, RB Gerard Wicks, LB Ivan McLennan, LB Peyton Pelluer, WR River Cracraft, CB Markell Sanders, QB Tyler Bruggman and OT Cody O'Connell.

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