Decision looms large for Mataele

Decision looms large for Mataele

The Sun Devils have been actively recruiting Tutulepeata Mataele for just a few weeks now, yet today they find themselves in the Mount San Antonio College's defensive lineman's final three schools. As a mid-year transfer Mataele can sign as early as December 19th and he spent this past weekend in Tempe visiting Arizona State, which marked his last official recruiting visit.

"It was a good visit and I got to see what the school was all about," Mataele said. "Everything there was high quality like the facilities and the equipment and they have a good coaching staff. It is a great environment and a big city with always something to see or something to do.

"I went in with an open mind and everything was pretty much like I expected."

As a freshman the 6-3 285-pound Tutulepeata Mataele saw limited time in a deep defensive line, but still was able to post 10.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 on a Mt. SAC squad which captured the 2011 J.C. Grid-Wire National Championship.

As a sophomore for the 11-1 Mounties, Mataele collected 42 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles and was voted an All-Conference unanimous selection.

The lineman stated that the Arizona State coaches like his versatility and feel that he can be an asset on the Sun Devils' defensive line. Mataele concurred with those sentiments.

"I can see myself fitting in their scheme," Mataele stated. "The coaches said I can move around and play at the one-technique, three-technique or five-technique (positions). They said that they would play me where I would have the most success.

"I was hosted by (senior ASU defensive lineman) Toa (Tuitea) and he told me that if I work hard here I will have opportunities to play."

Mataele did receive an offer from the Sun Devils during his visit, and will now weigh that program against his other two suitors as he expects to sign his scholarship paperwork on December 19th.

"I do feel stronger about Arizona State than I did before the visit," Mataele said. "Boise State and BYU are the other schools I'm looking at. I'm going to back and talk to my parents and make a decision on Tuesday."

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