Sam Vakalahi (Blair Angulo)

Vakalahi Talks UW Visit, Future Plans

One of the top defensive line targets on Washington's board, East (Salt Lake City, Ut.) DT Sam Vakalahi, was on campus today and he said he couldn't have asked for more during his first visit to Seattle...

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"It was a great visit. It's a really nice place," Vakalahi told Dawgman.com as he awaited his flight home. "The campus was great, so were the facilities. I just loved everything about my time there."

While he was on campus, Vakalahi said one of the highlights was getting the chance to sit down with head coach Chris Petersen.

"We talked for a while and I really felt like I got to know him better and understand their program," Vakalahi noted. "He talked about how they worked and prepared and the attitude they are looking for from their players and their expectation of the players.

"He's a really great coach and it was amazing getting to sit down and talk to him about why he does the things he does and you can understand why he's been so successful."

Vakalahi also got the chance to talk to several of the Husky defensive linemen.

"The defensive line was eating when I was there, so I got the chance to sit down with them for a while and get to know them a little better," Vakalahi said. "I didn't get the chance to talk with Vita Vea, but I did get the chance to talk to Benning Potoa'e. He's a real funny dude. Actually all of them are really cool dudes and they are all funny. You can tell the bond they have there as teammates and friends. It's like a family up there. I really liked that.

"They all sorta remind me of the East boys I have on my team. They all get along like we do. That's pretty special."

While the Huskies and several other schools have offered Vakalahi as a defensive linemen, he also has several schools that have offered him as an offensive lineman, but he said he really doesn't have a preference on which side he plays.

"I'll play wherever, I just want to play," Vakalahi said. "On defense you can be aggressive and hit guys, but offensively, you can pretty much do the same thing. 

"I feel like I bring the same mentality on either side of the ball."

Vakalahi hasn't set a timeline for when he'd like to make a decision, but he admitted he's nowhere close to committing to a school.

"I want to take my time and take my visits this fall or after my season," Vakalahi said. "Before my season starts, I'll make things a little easier on myself and narrow things down to a top seven, but that's a ways off before I do something like that."

Does this visit put Washington in that top seven.

"I don't want to say yes or no on that, but this visit definitely made an impression on me," Vakalahi admitted. "I loved everything about my trip up there and I have a really strong relationship with coach (Ikaika) Malloe already."

Vakalahi has no other unofficial visits planned and he said the only camp he intends to take part in is the Opening Finals being held in Oregon the first weekend of July.


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