RECRUITING: Cougs in top two for 3-star Ulutu

FOR A WHILE there, linebacker Xavier Ulutu had put recruiting on the back burner -- he was too busy winning a league title. But Ulutu says his focus has now moved to recruiting and he has a pair of leaders. They include Wazzu, where he'll officially visit on Jan. 24. We have more from Ulutu plus other recruiting tidbits in this report...

Ranked three stars and the 58th best middle linebacker prospect in the land by Scout.com, Ulutu holds offers from Washington State, Boise State, Fresno State, Colorado State and New Mexico, with the majority of the Pac-12 still showing late interest.

However, the 6-1, 235-pounder said he's down to two.

"I'm down to Washington State and Fresno State right now," Ulutu said. "I had Boise State up there too, but I'm not going to visit there anymore. The coaching changes they had and with Coach Petersen going to Washington affected my decision."

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WITH WASHINGTON STATE, Ulutu says he has been in close contact with inside linebackers coach Ken Wilson. Ulutu called Wilson over the weekend to confirm his official visit for Jan. 24 and he said he is very much looking forward to that trip. Ulutu added that he hasn't locked in his official with Fresno State yet, but is hoping to take that trip at some point this month.

"I've been talking with Coach Wilson and he keeps telling me about the great things going on at Washington State," Ulutu said. "There's a lot of great people over there and we talked about his plan for 2014. They're really looking forward to the future and he said he can't wait for me to visit.

"I've been dying to go too because I had the trip planned for my bye week during the season, but my mom had to cancel at the last minute. I really want to check out the student life and talk to some of the players to see what it's like at the university."

The San Diego product is coming off a memorable 2013 season with his Catholic Cathedral High team. Ulutu and his teammates captured the league championship for the third time in four years with a 37-31 victory over San Pasqual.

On the season, Ulutu finished with an impressive 127 tackles (44 solo), 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

ELSEWHERE IN RECRUITING, four-star linebacker Chandler Leniu announced last night he was decommiting. The 6-1, 225-pounder told CF.C that although he opened up his recruitment, he is still considering the Cougs moving forward. Leniu will visit Cal on Jan. 24 and then trip to Fresno State on Jan. 31.

• Over on the defensive line, Scout's Brandon Huffman caught up with three-star defensive end and USC commit Austin Maloata on Sunday evening. The 6-3, 250-pounder told Huffman that he remains committed to USC, but hasn't talked to the new staff. Maloata added that he is still keeping his options open, with Washington State and Arizona State remaining in the mix.

"I'm not sure where I'm at with USC, so hopefully I can talk with them and they let me know soon so I can know what my options are."

In his article, Huffman reported that Maloata, who will likely make his final decision on signing day, will host WSU and ASU coaches for an in-home visit after the current NCAA dead period ends, (runs through Jan. 15).

• The Cougs are expected to host several recruits this coming weekend for official visits. The list, which is likely to grow between now and Friday, includes new cornerback commits Sulaiman Hameed and Patrick Porter, who both gave WSU their verbals last week. In addition, WSU is also expected to host DE/LB Patrick Choudja, WR Marcus Davis and JUCO OL Dominique Robertson.

• CB Deion Hallmon and OT Isaiah Holland were at one time also expected in town this weekend but it appears as though those plans have changed. Hallmon told BigRedReport's Bryan Munson that he'll be taking an official visit to Nebraska this weekend, while Holland gave his verbal commitment to Army last month.

Both of those players remain on the visit list for now. We haven't heard back from either to see if they still hold WSU offers and/or are visiting and we also have calls out to sources.

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