"They were showing me the love," said Poloai.
Assistant and area recruiter Jody Sears ran the recruiting point on the Luther Burbank High product. His verbal commitment further strengthens WSU's growing Polynesian connection.
Cougars Bernard Wolfgramm, Sekope Kaufusi, Jamal Atofau, Jordan Pu'u-Robinson, plus walk-on Corey Laufasa, along with future Coug Chester Sua, are all of Polynesian descent.
Poloai will play around 265 pounds this year coming off a summer when he injured an ankle but, and like Wulff's other 2011 d-tackle commit, David Davis, he projects to be a 300-pounder in college. He won't turn 17 until October and is decidedly still growing.
"Last year I just started playing more defense towards the middle and end of the season. I know most of the guys when I get to college are going to be taller than me so what I do is work hard on leverage. And I think I have a height advantage, being lower than my guy," said Poloai.
The book on Poloai is an athletic DT who plays with great leverage. He also looks to have the same type of motor as Kalafitoni Pole.
"Coach Sears said he loved the way I play, that I have a real motor and I'm quick for my size," said Poloai.
Summer strength numbers for Poloai included a squat of 550, power clean of 275 and a bench press of 375 pounds. In addition to Wazzu, Poloai was drawing interest from UCLA, Cal, Oregon State, Boise State and BYU.
"None of them (recruited) me like coach Sears and Washington State," said Poloai.
Poloai becomes Paul Wulff's 14th known verbal commit in the Cougs' 2011 class, joining RB DaMarcus James, QB Cody Clements, WR/LB/ATH Brock Lutes, LB/SS Darryl Monroe, WR Isiah Myers, WR Henry Eaddy, CB Spencer Waseem, DT David Davis, RB/LB Chester Sua, LB/DE Logan Mayes, S Max Gama, TE Max Hersey and RB Bishop Sankey.