Is Rutgers Still Interested in JUCO Latu?

Will Latu

Rutgers extended a scholarship offer to College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, Calif.) offensive lineman Will Latu last month, but since the Scarlet Knights picked up two offensive line verbal commitments. So, ScarletReport.com spoke to Latu to see if Rutgers remains interested, and his answer is inside.

The intensity and number of Rutgers coaches recruiting College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, Calif.) offensive lineman Will Latu made such an impression, the junior college standout admitted his interest in the school increased.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Latu is up to 13 scholarship offers, and the Scarlet Knights are certainly standing out.

"The coaches are unbelievable," Latu said. "We talk on a weekly basis, and it's making me grow toward their program. Everything we talk about, it's family-based, and an opportunity to get better in life and football. It works out good. Those guys, they're really trying hard to get me."

It is not just coach Greg Schiano or offensive line coach Kyle Flood in touch with Latu.

"The whole staff is talking to me," Latu said. "That's a good thing. That's another thing that opens up my eyes. Usually, it's the head coach, or the offensive line coach, but I've got the wide receiver coach (P.J. Fleck) talking to me, the defensive backs coach (Jeff Hafley).

"It just makes me feel more comfortable if I go there because I'm already building a relationship with everybody, not just one coach."

Although Rutgers picked up verbal commitments from class of 2012 offensive line standouts Brandon Arcidiacono of Archbishop Wood High (Warminster, Pa.) and Chris Muller of Boyertown (Pa.) Area High, Latu remains a priority because of his eligibility clock, and the Scarlet Knights' need to revamp its offensive line.

Latu will leave COC in the spring and have two years to play two seasons, meaning if an incoming freshman red-shirts, he would be a red-shirt sophomore the season after Latu's eligibility expires.

Still, Latu acknowledged he is far from making a decision. His latest offer came from South Florida, which struck a chord because he is from St. Petersburg, Fla., which is across the bay from the USF campus.

That is also the only school he knows he will visit unofficially when he returns home during summer break Aug. 4-14. He is also eyeing a summer trip to Oklahoma, and if he can do it inexpensively, will visit other schools as well, but he has no leaders.

"Right now it's pretty even," Latu said. "If I can take some unofficial visits before my season starts, I can go in with the mindset of which universities are more of a fit for me than just being all over the place."

He sees the seriousness of his recruitment surfacing as programs begin to fill up with offensive line commitments.

"Now that more schools are finally talking business instead of talking, it's different from where I was a month ago," Latu said. "I really have to take these schools into consideration and see what the background is like on a football level, and the academics, and seeing which schools produce the most linemen to the next level. I have to do a lot of homework."

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