After early scholarship offers from San Jose State and Washington State, Takitaki - a devout Mormon – got an offer from BYU April 9; a school he has taken road trips since he was a freshman in high school and deeply loves.
"It was just a blessing and also a dream come true," Takitaki said. "I've wanted to go there since I was a little kid, watching BYU football growing up. It was such a great experience getting offered from them.
But now that the three time Big Ten champions have entered the picture, Takitaki recognizes his recruitment isn't an open-and-shut case anymore. Developing a relationship for the past month with Wisconsin, the Badgers finally offered Tuesday, making another sizeable impact on his recruitment.
"Again, it's just a blessing," Takitaki told Badger Nation. "I thank the Lord for the offer. Wisconsin is a great school; a school I would love to go to in the future. It's really different from California. It's the first school from the Midwest to offer me, and a good school I would want to go to. I really didn't know they were going to offer me."
The attraction from Wisconsin comes from a variety of factors for Takitaki. While he's impressed with the academics and the athletic success the Badgers are known for, Takitaki has really felt a close-knit connection with new defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a, who is cut from the same cloth he is.
"We have a lot in common," said Takitaki. "He's coached a lot of kids to the next level, and that really opens up my eyes of what he could do for me."
Doubling as a fullback and a pass-rush defensive end, the 6-3, 240-pound Takitaki believes he can add upwards of 25 pounds and possibly play defensive tackle, but still keep his speed and aggression if he gets into the right program.
"Schools really think I could fit the (rush) position, that they have a spot for me and that inspires me," said Takitaki.
Admitting that he felt for a long time that he would commit to BYU if he had the opportunity, the offer from Wisconsin has forced Takitaki to slow down his decision. Planning to take local visits and camps throughout the spring and summer, Takitaki would now like to take some officials before committing.
"Wisconsin has opened my eyes that there are other schools out there that want to put me for my future," said Takitaki. "Wisconsin is a big school, they are always winning Big Ten championship and it's a place I want to see."