Could JUCO DL Wind Up A Dawg?

Laney DL Anthony Fotu is one of the hottest JUCO defensive line prospects on the market right now. He's seen recruiting shoot through the roof with offers from schools across the country and he told recently that Washington is one of the two schools he plans to visit this month...

Fotu, a 6-4, 285-pounder who is versatile enough to play almost anywhere along the line of scrimmage, currently holds offers from Illinois, Iowa State, Maryland, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, TCU, UAB, Arizona and Washington.

"I'm visiting Washington next weekend (December 12th) and I'm really excited to get up there and see the school," Fotu told "Coach 'K' (Pete Kwiatkowski) and coach (Jordan) Poa Pao were down here today and I met with them. I'm really excited about going up there right now. I really like (Kwiatkowski) and I think it will be cool to see what they have to offer up there."

In addition to his trip to Montlake, Fotu said he plans to visit Mississippi State this weekend and hopes to schedule a visit to Arizona as well, but that may or may not happen.

"It's all been pretty hectic and exciting," Fotu said. "Coaches have been calling and showing me a lot of interest and talking to me about their programs, but the two or three that are sticking out are Mississippi State, Washington and Arizona."

The reason the Huskies have made an impression isn't only because of his relationship with Kwiatkowski, but that definitely has played a big part in his interest.

"He runs an aggressive scheme and I like how he coaches his guys up," Fotu said. "He's a really cool guy. I like the way he does things and I think we've formed a good relationship."

As a sophomore this season, Fotu played three of the four spots along Laney's defensive line and he said most every school that has offered, including the Huskies, have told him that they see him playing multiple positions for them as well.

"As a freshman, I was almost always at defensive end, but this past season I play both (defensive end and defensive tackle)," Fotu noted. "I get off the ball well and I use my hands to get separation and then I go after the ball.

"I love to rush the quarterback, but I know my job is to stop the run first and that's what I love to do. I love to hit guys."

As a sophomore, Fotu finished with 30 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles-for-loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception.

When it comes to making his choice, Fotu said that he will be looking for several things when he sits down to decide where he will play his college ball.

"The first thing is getting to know the staff and how I feel about how they will coach me and if they care about me as a person and a player," Fotu said. "I'll also be looking for the good and bad about the school. The academics, their support system for the players, the positives and negatives about the location. I mean, I would love to play in a place my family can watch me, but that isn't that big of a deal.

"The last thing, and it might be the most important, is how I bond with the players. I'm Polynesian, but I don't need a huge Poly community. It would be nice, but if the right fit is a place where I'm the only one, it's not that big of a deal.

"What I really want to find out though is how I bond with the players. I want them to give me the straight story on what it's like being there. Is there a good bond with the coaches and do they like it there."

Fotu is on pace to finish up his academic work this month and he plans to sign with a school on December 17th (when the mid-year JUCO signing period begins), so these next two weeks will be huge in helping him decide where he will wind up playing the remainder of his college football career.

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