September 11, 2009

California linebacker likes the RMS

While there were 50,000-plus fans watching the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Boulder Colorado Sunday night, there was another interested party watching the game in San Bernardino, Calif. Ofa Fifita, a 6-foot, 220-pound outside linebacker had his television tuned to Fox Sports in an effort to scout one of his potential suitors - Colorado State.

"It was a heck of a game," Fifita said. "It was a great game. I really liked the way it came out. The Quarterback (CSU quarterback Grant Stucker) did a real good job and the defense came out on fire. There were a couple big hits that kept the team in the game in terms of being hyped."

Fifita has scholarship offers from Colorado State, UNLV, Nevada, Hawaii and San Jose State. Fifita said several other schools have told him they want him to send his first couple game tapes before they also offer.

Athletically, Fifita claims a 4.7 time in the 40-yard dash, a bench press max of 305 pounds and a 3.4 grade-point average. That last number should not be lost on college coaches who are looking for Fifita's signature on a National Letter of Intent. The California linebacker said academics will be a major part of his college search. That is a good sign for two schools in particular.

"The two schools I really like academic-wise are San Jose State and Colorado State," Fifita said. "I sat down with my brother's girlfriend and did research. She told me CSU had a great business program and business is probably one of the majors that most interests me because I want to run my own business. She (brother's girlfriend) told me the graduation rate is about 90 percent and 30 days after graduation day, they have a job with a major corporation.

"At San Jose State, I talked to their coach and he said they had a great business school and are in the Silicon Valley and they have a lot of corporations like Yahoo and other places who can get a good internships at."

On the football field, the Rams and Spartans also stand out.

"One school as far as football that stands out to me is San Jose State," Fifita said. "The coach said their defense is in the top-10 as far as defense in the nation. I watched over the weekend and Colorado State jumped out to me with the way they played. Before they offered me I knew about Colorado State, but yesterday I really watched the game and it looks like they are going to have a great year. They really impressed me. They looked really good."

Fifita's own Arroyo Valley High School is also looking for a big season, despite the fact pundits are suggesting a fourth place finish in their conference. Last season Arroyo Valley went 4-6 overall. Individually, Fifita said he has a lot to work on (reading the hole, no false steps, more tackles for loss), but he already feels stronger this year than he did a year ago

"Just my all around game as far as pass coverage and attacking the run and being more aggressive. Last year I felt there were plays I could have made but I took the wrong angle or was just a step too slow," he said. "This year I feel a lot more comfortable and I have the triangle read of the inside linemen. I will have my work cut out for me with a whole new front four. I think I need to be a lot stronger and lead the defense."

"We've been going at it, hitting each other forever and now it is time to put on the pads and turn some heads."

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