Campus Correspondent Jacob Ruffman has a recap here on UCLA’s latest football verbal commit, Isaiah Folasa
By this time last summer, UCLA had only four commitments. This year, the Bruins already have ten, with the most recent coming from Santiago High School’s Isaiah Folasa.
Folasa plays left tackle for the Sharks but will most likely come into UCLA as a guard because of his 6-foot-3, 325-pound frame. The Bruins were the first team to extend an offer to Folasa following their camp in late June and it didn’t take long for him to accept the offer.
“His first offer came from his favorite school,” Sharks head coach Jeff Steinberg said. “His family has always loved UCLA and he’s a UCLA fan so when he got an offer we had a little talk and he told me UCLA was at the top; I said it was kind of a no-brainer. Why toy around trying to get other offers when you already have your school?”
Folasa has the right mentality for a lineman; he plays until the whistle and he uses his size very well, driving defenders backwards until they hit the ground. For the Bruins, however, especially in the zone-read blocking system and the Pistol offense, he’ll have to learn to maintain contact to the second level and not leave defenders still in the running lanes.
“He finishes his blocks really well and gets off the line of scrimmage really well,” Steinberg said. “He’s a little out of position for where he’ll play in college but in our offense we want our bigger guys on the edge. At the next level he’ll do very well moving inside.”
Folasa is the Bruins’ second offensive line commitment in a class that will likely end up with between 4-6 linemen. One of those commits may actually end up being Folasa’s cousin, Hiva Lutui, a four-star guard out of Texas who was originally from Southern California.
Ruffman had a brief chat with Folasa, after the jump…
JR: UCLA was your first offer, what made you want to commit?
IF: “I just loved the school and the atmosphere of it. I waited a couple of weeks to commit so I could talk it over with my parents. The coaches are amazing and I spend most of my time talking with Coach Moses and I have a good relationship with him.
JR: What do you think you can bring to a team/program?
IF: “I want to come in and help the offensive line improve and make sure we have a good running game. I always try to finish my blocks and do my best to get to the linebackers at the next level.”
You play tackle in high school but you’re being recruited as a guard. Is that a positive or a negative?
IF: “I think it’s a good thing. Being able to play both tackle and guard adds to my versatility. Also being a tackle helps my footwork a lot in pass protection.”
JR: What are you looking forward to most about coming to UCLA?
IF: “I’m mainly looking forward to being at the school and the surrounding area. Everything over there is really nice.”
JR: Are you going to continue to look around or is your recruiting process over?
IF: “I am keeping it open. I committed but my recruitment isn’t really over yet. I’m still talking with USC, San Jose State, Colorado and Fresno State. UCLA is recruiting me the hardest still but USC talks to me a lot as well.”
JR: How hard are you recruiting your cousin Hiva Lutui?
IF: “Yeah, I keep telling him to come back. He told me he wants to come out to the west coast. He’s going to wait out his recruiting process though so he isn’t going to commit soon. He will definitely take an official to UCLA with me though.”