Got a text message from Arroyo Valley head coach Marcus Soward this morning confirming the commitment of linebacker Ofa Fifita to Fresno State. Fifita, a three-star prospect according to both Rivals.com and Scout.com, chose the Bulldogs over Nevada, Colorado State, Hawaii and UNLV.
“This feels awesome right now,” Soward said. “Ofa actually committed last night. Pat Hill came by the school a couple of days ago and was really impressive. He was a great guy who capitivated everyone – he was joking around with the secretaries and really made a good presentation.
“Fresno State is a very good program that goes to bowls and plays the upper-echelon teams and more importantly, they graduate players. That’s what I really enjoyed about what he said.”
Fifita visited Fresno State last weekend and was scheduled to go to Hawaii this weekend before pulling the trigger. His commitment marks the third straight year that the Hawks have had a player commit to a Division I FBS school, joining defensive end Keenan Brown (San Jose State) and quarterback Robert Fuller (Utah State) from two years ago and freshman All-American offensive lineman Michael Philipp (Oregon State) from last year.
“When I came here two years ago, my goal was to give kids the opportunity to go to college and hopefully, get them to graduate from college,” Soward said. “If they do well and make it to the pros that’s great, but getting them a college degree is what I want. There’s plenty of talent around here and recruiters are picking up on it. If we hit the books a little harder around here this will continue.”
Another Hawk, wide receiver Damon Ogburn, has also received Division I interest and could sign Wednesday. He is down to Idaho State, an FCS school that he is taking an official visit to this weekend, and San Jose State, where he has already visited. Soward expects to know Ogburn’s decision Sunday when he comes back from Idaho State.
Fifita’s commitment is also the third from a county player to Fresno State, joining Rancho Cucamonga quarterback Greg Watson and Los Osos wide receiver Sean Alston.