Pac-12 foes mount late charge for Tapa

WHEN NGALU TAPA verbally committed to Washington State back in October, CF.C message boarders who know their recruiting well were thrilled - for about five seconds. The discussion quickly turned to whether WSU could hold onto him until Signing Day. And another Pac-12 school tried to make a run at the lauded 6-3, 275-pounder this past week. So do CougFans have reason to be concerned?

The following is a quick preview of a larger article on Ngalu Tapa we'll be publishing before Signing Day...

Burbank High head coach John Heffernan says CougFans can relax. Neither that most recent Pac-12 team to offer, nor any others, ever had a chance with Tapa after he pledged crimson.

At the conclusion of the 2013 season, Tapa was widely considered one of the most dominating d-tackles to ever come out of the Sacramento region. Although three Pac-12 offers isn't anything to sneeze at, an incident with the law had a major effect on his recruiting stock after his junior season.

But Arizona and Colorado both tried to get back in on Tapa with offers after he verballed to WSU. Heffernan doesn't know if UCLA officially offered but he said they definitely put their toe in the water. And another Pac-12 school was also making a late push.

"I'm not going to name them but there was a Pac-12 school here last week, at the last minute trying to get him to take a trip," said Heffernan. "But he was, 'No, Coach, I'm sorry but I'm locked in, I'm done.' I think that speaks a lot to his recruitment by Coach Joe Salave'a and the connection he made to the family, the dad. There's a trust there that is hard to find sometimes in the recruitment process.

"He was always firm in his commitment. Once he made that commitment to Washington State, there was no wavering."

The process of Washington State's recruitment of Tapa, one that began with his sophomore tape and a graduate assistant on the WSU staff who knew the Tapa family, are among the topics we'll cover in the full article.

Also, Heffernan didn't shy away from discussing Tapa's legal troubles, how that affected his recruitment and also, Tapa's road to redemption. Tapa's is an unusual story, one we think you'll enjoy. Stay tuned.

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