Commitment Impact: Poasi Moala

Consider Poasi Moala the strong, silent type. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive lineman prospect from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, Calif. didn't have much to say when he verbally committed to Washington at the end of June - one of eight players to commit or re-commit to UW. And he didn't have anything to say after it.

"My name is Poasi Moala, I'm from Rancho Verde, and I'm committed to the University of Washington," he said, throwing up the customary 'dubs' sign to huge applause - mainly from his aunt, who was in attendance at the RAM restaurant in UVillage, the site where Moala, teammate Demorea Stringfellow, Caleb Tucker, Troy Williams, Lavon Coleman, Elijah Qualls, Andrew Basham and Daeshon Hall made their verbal commitments known.

"I like Washington a lot and have heard great things about the place," Moala told Scout.com national analyst Greg Biggins before his trip up to Seattle and the Washington Rising Stars camp. "They have a lot of Poly (Polynesian) players there and I have a lot of family who live there. I've never been to Seattle before but it looks like a really nice place and I'm very excited to check it out."

Silence is Golden - So excited, in fact - that he decided to commit right there after spending a day and a half on campus. But his reticence in talking to media after the commitment means it may be hard to get a read on Moala and what he does from here on out in the recruiting process. He may just keep it all a secret with his family and go from there. Hopefully we'll be able to break through the wall of silence to get some of his thoughts down the road, but for now Poasi remains the one commit out of the group that just didn't want to talk.

The Stringfellow Effect - It sure seems like this is a Rancho Verde package deal with Moala and Stringfellow, but it's never been mentioned as such. But from what I've been able to gather of Moala's recruitment, he was taken with the Huskies from the start, and when he found out that his teammate felt the same way, a definite bond was formed there.

A Commitment Is… - As we've talked about earlier, a verbal commitment to a college - and especially one this early in the process - can be seen as a declaration of one's admiration for a school above all others. In a lot of instances, it doesn't mean anything close to the textbook definition of 'commitment' at all. And depending on how schools decide to recruit Moala from now on, he could very well take more than one official visit before making his final decision.

"I really liked it at UCLA, it's a great environment," Moala told Biggins after taking part in the Bruins' summer camp. "That's definitely where my parents want me to go, they want me to stay close to home and that's a big plus. My cousin Junior Pomee is at USC and it's cool that he can always come home when he wants and his family can see him at practices and games."

At the time the Bruins hadn't offered Moala, so it's unclear whether or not this could become a two-horse race between UCLA and UW if, in fact, they decide to tender an offer.

Speaking of Family… - Polynesian families are generally very close-knit and the parents have a big say in where a prospect ends up. Staying close to home is very important to them if they are on the mainland, but historically parents give their blessings to sons who want to leave Hawaii for the mainland - mainly because of perceived better opportunities and also if there happens to be more family where the prospect will play.

In the case of Moala, his family is in southern California, but his aunt was at the commitment announcement and it sounds like Poasi is very close to his aunt and she is in a very stable and comfortable environment in Seattle. Adding to the mix is the thought that Poasi's parents may move to the city where he ends up playing if it looks like the situation is the best all-around fit for him and his family.

Obviously there's a lot to the family dynamics here, but don't just assume that because UCLA happens to be closer to his family right now that that's always going to be the case. I think it's going to be a long, hard sell for the Washington coaches to make sure Poasi and his family realize UW is the place for him, but in some ways the hard work has already been done; he's announced his intentions to go to Montlake, and now it's just a matter of maintaining that commitment through January and to Signing Day.

Prospect Analysis - "To me he looks like a prototype tackle…I think he's more of an athletic tackle based on the tape I've seen. He's got that long, lean frame, he's got really good feet, he's naturally aggressive…he could play guard, but I think he's athletic enough to be a really tackle. For me, with the long arms and super good feet, I would envision him being a tackle down the road unless they have other thoughts. That's where I would use him, personally." - Greg Biggins, Scout.com National Analyst

Where Does Poasi Fit In? - Here's a very rough sketch of where the Huskies should be in 2013 by the time Moala arrives on campus.

Left Tackle - Micah Hatchie, Dexter Charles (Nathan Dean)
Left Guard - Colin Tanigawa or Dexter Charles (Shane Brostek)
Center - Drew Schaefer, Mike Criste, Siosifa Tufunga (Cory English)
Right Guard - James Atoe or Erik Kohler (Jake Eldrenkamp)
Right Tackle - Ben Riva or Erik Kohler (Taylor Hindy)

If we go by Biggins' analysis of Moala, he sure sounds like he could be another one of those coveted left tackles to help protect the backside of all the quarterbacks at Washington (who are right-handed). Andrew Kirkland, who committed to Washington just days after Moala's commit, could be a great right tackle, but it sounds as if the Huskies are interested in him at guard. If that's the case, I'd project Moala as a tackle at this point.

With two offensive linemen in the fold for 2013, expect Washington to try and take a couple more, with players like Na'Ty Rodgers, Riley Sorenson, Sean Harlow, John Lopez, Reeve Kohler and Mason Friedline being right at the top of their list.

Moala In Action - For those interested in seeing Poasi Moala in action, click on the link below.

Poasi Moala - LA Nike Camp 1v1's -


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