"My coach told me that Coach Chad came by and offered me," Leiataua told Badger Nation. "I was shocked when I heard the news. Wisconsin is a really good school and they really are looking out for what I want to do in terms of going on a mission. I know Coach Andersen is Mormon and Coach Chad is from Utah, so they both understand. Historically that is a great school, so I it was great."
The 6-4, 265-pound Leiataua is the No. 38 defensive end in the nation and an early three star recruit by Fox Sports Next. He knows being a highly touted player, he will be listening to many people in his recruitment, but one person he knows that he can trust is Kauha'aha'a.
"I have talked a lot before with Coach Chad and he is really cool," Leiataua said. "He is down-to-earth-kind-of chill and he gave me advice about choosing a school. It was un-bias advice, which I thought was really cool and he was being 100 percent real. He said he wants me to come down during the season, so I can see the game day atmosphere. He said I could come up whenever and I am trying to figure something out with my schedule."
With the Wisconsin offer in his pocket, Leiataua is holding four other offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Utah and Washington State, but he is hearing from San Jose State, UCLA, USC, Ohio, UTEP, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, California BYU and Michigan.
Leiataua has expressed the willingness to leave his region and it doesn't hurt he is a big fan of traveling. With that combination and a recent offer from the Badgers, he has a new top list.
"Wisconsin really jumped up and Utah was always one of the top ones, but I really like Wisconsin," he said. "Wisconsin and Utah are tied right now as my leader, but hopefully a visit to Wisconsin can change that. Those two are my top two, but Wisconsin has really been up there for awhile. I just hope when I visit, it is what I expect it to be and if it is, then that will be a really big push for me. It is a for sure thing, I want to take an official visit to Wisconsin. I have already visited BYU and Utah, so I don't know where else I might go."
Another reason Leiataua is comfortable with Kauha'aha'a and Wisconsin is the Badgers are comfortable with his mission trip. Shortly after he got his scholarship offer, Wisconsin accepted a verbal commitment from Salt Lake City East athlete Ula Tolutau, who will go on his mission trip following his senior year.
"That is a real big thing for me to do my mission, but Wisconsin is fine with waiting so that is a big plus," Leiataua said. "I love how Coach Chad is 100 percent with me by saying we don't have the best in everything. That is OK with me because if you come to my high school, then you will only see we have two benches. I am just looking forward to seeing the atmosphere and how I fit in.
"Just how the school itself can help me after football and I got a good shot to go to the NFL. I know J.J. Watt went there and he is a real big influence, so that is great. Coach Chad coached Star Lotulelei, so I know he has seen a lot of talent his way and developed it. Coach Chad really pumped up the game atmosphere and how the crowd is really into the game, so I really want to see that."