Eastern Appreciation

West Virginia hosted Aki Vakalahi on an official recruiting visit for the Louisville football game, and like his Phoenix college teammate Tevita Finau, the standout defender was very impressed with his first visit to the Eastern United States.

"It was great. I loved it out there," said Vakalahi, who is very soft spoken. "With the team, the fans, and the coaches, I just had a lot of fun."

Vakalahi, who played in front of modest crowds at Phoenix College, was especially impressed with the Mountaineer faithful.

"That's the first time I have seen fans like that," he said with wonderment. "They really get into the game, and they are loud. Really, everything was just perfect on my visit.

In similar fashion to Finau, Vakalahi also liked the terrain and environment in West Virginia. There were no negatives to his visit, and that included his look at the countryside around Morgantown.

To get Vakalahi, West Virginia will have to fend off Nebraska and Kansas State, both of which have offered scholarships. Vakalahi does not have any other visits set at this time, but he also has no timetable or schedule for making a commitment. However, West Virginia does have one other factor in its corner – it is the only school to also offer Finau.

"We have talked some about playing together, but that's mostly up to him," Vakalahi said realistically. He has all the big school offers, so it might be hard for us to wind up playing together. West Virginia is the one school that has offered us both."

Vakalahi, who said he is comfortable playing any linebacker position, finished the season at 6-3 and 240 pounds, but believes he can be even bigger and faster by the time he heads for a Division I campus next year.

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