Eric Scott talks Tufunga

When Eric Scott first saw Siosifa Tufunga, he wasn't sure what to expect. Scott, who had coached in the Pac-10 at UCLA, as well as other LA-area schools, like Compton Centennial, has seen his share of talent in the southern California high school ranks. And now as Long Beach Jordan's new offensive coordinator, it's Scott's job to mold players like Tufunga to play their best.

"He's really a sleeper," Scott told Sunday when asked about Tufunga, who verbally committed to Washington Saturday. "He was a center last year. He was out of position and not in great shape. They didn't have a lot of coaching, a lot of help over there as far as the o-line was concerned. You'll find a lot of high schools, especially in the inner cities, if you get some people over there to mold those kids and really see the talent and bring it out of them, you'll get a lot more out of those schools.

"This is my first year over there. I watched his film, and I was seeing him make blocks, but no feet movement and little bitty things, the detail things…but he was one of those kids that was there every single day…he was there to lift weights every single day. He was there at workouts every single day, and I was like, this kid is huge! We started to pay attention to him and when the o-line coach took him under his wing, he really started to look awesome.

"This year we took him to the B2G camp in Thousand Oaks, and there were some impressive kids there. There was the kid from Lakewood, Todd Barr, and we got to compare him with the offensive lineman out of Norco (Brent Walker). The coaches over there were really impressed with the technique and everything that he had and they were juicing him up and saying what a great player he would be at the next level.

"He's very aggressive. He's almost 6-4; he's 300 pounds and he has little or not body fat on him. He's strong, very strong, and very quick."

With Washington taking two Panthers from last year - John Timu and Princeton Fuimaono - the Huskies had the inside track when finding out about Tufunga's transformation under Scott and the new Jordan offensive coaching staff. They were equally impressed with his 3.7 grade point average. "The University of Washington were the first to see him," Scott said. "I put a little 2-minute drill tape up on YouTube, and they saw him move around. They were really impressed.

"Nobody has seen him yet. Washington saw the tape on YouTube, but nobody else has really seen him. But just on the eyeball test alone, he's a winner. And once you see him play and once you see him move and then you see his transcripts? It's a no-brainer."

Scott is going to move Tufunga to tackle for his senior year, but he's projected to play on the interior in college. Having two former teammates at UW gave Tufunga some comfort when making his choice, according to Scott. "[Tufunga] has never been to Seattle, but with John Timu and those guys being up there, that helps a lot for him in swaying his way toward Washington," he said.

Now that word is out on Tufunga's decision, Scott expects a flurry of activity from other Pac-10 schools and beyond looking to get more information on Jordan's rising senior. But he doesn't expect Tufunga to back off his commitment at all. "It's pretty solid, because he's just one of those kids that he's just happy for somebody be interested him him," Scott said. "It's like a dream come true for him. And I think he'll stand by it."

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