December 26, 2009

Fifita names a favorite

After taking recruiting slow during his senior season, San Bernadino (CA) Arroyo Valley linebacker Ofa Fifita is finally focusing on recruiting. With one official visit in the bag, the3-star prospect finally has a front-runner.

Two weeks ago, Fifita took a trip out east to Reno to visit the University of Nevada. It didn't take much to help him feel right at home.

"It went real well, it's way different than California as far as the city and the people-they're real laid back and friendly," Fifita said. "It was a great experience from the coaches, to the players, to the whole community. I had a fun couple of days over there, it was exciting."

Fifita currently lists the Wolfpack as his favorite, but the one drawback he sees with UNR is the fact that they want him to play outside linebacker. While he is listed at OLB in the Rivals.com database, he has spent his entire career playing inside. He wouldn't be completely opposed to learning a new system, but admit he feels more comfortable playing inside.

With one official in the bag, Fifita has three more scheduled-those being to San Jose State, Fresno State and Hawaii. The Hawaii visit is scheduled for Jan. 29 and the trip north to Fresno is set for Jan. 22. There is still question about when he'll visit San Jose State due to being selected to play in a local all-star game on Jan. 9

"I'm going to go on an official to San Jose State, I just haven't decided when because there's an all-star game going on and I'm thinking about participating in it … it's the San Bernadino versus Riverside County teams. There's a lot of good players playing in the game."

With UH, UNR, Fresno State and SJSU being his top four schools at the time, the No. 62 ranked outside linebacker in the class of 2010 gave weighed the pros and cons of the universities he's considering.

Coming from a Polynesian heritage, likes Hawaii, but says he doesn't like the isolation that would keep him from coming back to California and seeing his family prevent his family from seeing his games out in the Pacific.

What about San Jose State?

"They're not as good of a football team, but they just got a new coach (Mike MacIntyre) and he was the defensive coordinator at Duke-and it's always good to have a head coach with a defensive mind," Fifita said. "They're ok, I really like them for academics, they have a great business program."

MacIntyre was named the 2009 American Football Coaches Association FBS Assistant Coach of the Year while at Duke.

And Fresno State?

"Fresno to me is just the best of both worlds. They have a good academic program and is a good football team. They play one of the best preseason schedules-they always go out and play the best of the best. Plus, it's a football school. I mean, I watch their games from time to time and their stadium is always packed."

One problem with the Fresno State Bulldogs is the fact that Fifita currently does not hold and offer from them, but the linebacker says him and the coaches are in contact every week and hopes to come home with a scholarship opportunity following his visit.

Look for Fifita to make his decision close to National Signing Day in February.

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