Ruffman Recruiting Report – Folasa Commits

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.”

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  • bibs

    His keeping his options open is a concern that he is not totally sold on us.

  • BruinFaithful

    I totally agree bibs. What’s more concerning is that we can’t lock a hometown kid down who is currently NR and only has offers from schools which are much lower tier than us.

    Sounds like he is holding out hope for a SUC offer. They only have 6 scholies left and have offered much higher rated recruits. They would have to be pretty hard up to offer this kid, considering their scholie situation and their options.

    I honestly don’t even know why we would offered this kid in the first place, especially with such a DEEP OL talent pool out west this year. He’s obviously not committed, hoping for the Bigger Better Deal, and will assuredly be a project type player.

    I know Palcic, doesn’t like to recruit, but I’d like to see the kids’ position coaches recruiting them.

  • futurebruin13

    Nobody is a 100% commit until they sign a LOI, therefore the recruiting process continues for EVERYONE till then. His comments are very very within the norm especially at this time of the year.

    Position coaches don’t necessarily recruit their positions, many times they are assigned an area or schools. But you can be sure that the particular position coaches have a say in who gets a schollie or not.

  • Anonymous

    He got his first scholie offer from his favorite school, but “he is keeping his options open”.

    Given Coach Neuheisel’s loose hold on his job it seems almost reasonable that this kid continues to look around.

    However, I hope he understands it is a two-way street and should UCLA turn it around and have a great season and find themselves in the hunt for some more celebrated offensive linemen, that statement may come back to haunt him.

  • bruinbiochem06

    I couldn’t agree with you any more anon 8:10pm. He’s a “UCLA fan,” yet he’s waiting for that SUC offer. If we have a great season and better OL show interest, we should pull his offer.

  • futurebruin13

    wow you guys are reading WAAAY to much into those quotes…

  • mindshed

    BruinFaithful: On why we would offer him… I’m sure Rick is just using his north campus classes to his advantage. He’s employing reverse psychology by offering IF so that usc will try to convert him and waste a scholarship.

  • MichaelRyerson

    Seems like the softest of soft commits, just one thin gradiation above the dreaded silent commit. And how exactly is he ‘recruiting his cousin’? “Hey couz, keep your recruiting open man, that’s the only way to show ’em you understand commitment!”

  • Reasonable Bruin

    “I’m mainly looking forward to being at the school and the surrounding area. Everything over there is really nice.”

    Words never uttered by an SC recruit…

  • Anonymous

    USC has more than 6 rides to give out. 3 of the current commits are EEs and dont count against that 15 scholarship limit. So as of now they should have about 9 scholarships remaining to give out.

  • Tony

    I agree that most of you are reading to much into, this is they’re year to get wined and dined and see other programs for free.

    RE: SUC’s scholies they only get 15 plus they lose 10 that are already on scholie because they can only have 75 kids on rides vs the norm 85. So SC is going to be very picky in who they offer.

  • Rich

    WTH? “I committed but my recruitment isn’t really over yet.” Sounds pretty iffy to me, unfortunately.

  • rejn

    Why should anyone be sold on UCLA after what’s been going since Donahue left? I love Neuheisel, but he hasn’t proven much of anything, yet. Hopefully this Hundley injury is not a sign of things to come. Otherwise, Rick is going to be in for a long, and maybe his final year. That’s too bad.

  • BruinRob

    I’m really starting to like our recruiting priorities, the OLine has been a thorn on the Bruins’ side for years and I’m really glad they have made the OLine a top priority. And it also seems we have a new-found pipe-line for recruiting Samoan players, I love it.

    Go Bruins!!