"He committed yesterday...He feels very comfortable with Coach Salave'a, the d-line coach," Luther Burbank High coach John Heffernan told CF.C. "There was a connection there. He felt a very strong connection with the program -- and (with) Calvin already going up there."
Tapa agreed with his prep coaching, saying the trust he developed with Salave'a made him realize he wanted to be a Coug.
"We've already developed a great bond," Tapa said. "It's not just because we're both Pacific Islanders, though. He's been there for me. I know when someone is being real and he's always kept it real with me. I know he'll support me and help me out while I'm on campus.
"We've talked over 10 times and I think we've spoken about football maybe four times. He always asked me about school and how my family was doing. He shows interest in more than just football and cares for his players."
Heffernan said Tapa was seeing increasing interest from around the Pac-12, in addition to the offers from WSU, 'Zona and UH.
"Those were not going to be his final offers though," Heffernan said. "He is a very special player. He's a great defensive lineman. He's big, fast and physical."
"I know that they're a good football team, but I know that I'll have a great support system over there," Tapa said on why he chose WSU over his other offers. "I was talking about it with my family and with Washington State, it's a family community and everyone knows each other. That stood out to me about their program."
Heffernan added that Tapa has been a versatile player for Luther Burbank this season, lining up at several different spots.
But he'll stick to the inside for Washington State.
"They want me to go up there and make plays as an interior lineman," Tapa said. "Coach Salave'a told me that I'm an all-down player and I have great pursuit to the ball. He thinks I can come in there and make an impact on the team's defense.
"I'm very excited for this. I cant wait to take my official visit (no date set yet) and see how the campus is. It's going to be great. I can't wait to start college and be a Cougar. It will be a new experience for me and I'll be ready to get after it."
Tapa's senior season stats were not available at press time. As a junior, he was named the Metropolitan Conference Defensive MVP, First-Team All-Metro by the Sacramento Bee and First-Team All Sac Joaquin Section.