Decision Time for Tutogi

Thomas Tutogi

Coming out of Chula Vista High School a year ago, Thomas Tutogi didn't receive a single scholarship offer, but now he has Pac-10 schools battling it out for his commitment. Look inside for the details.

Chula Vista (CA) Southwestern Community College linebacker Thomas Tutogi has gone from an unknown high school recruit to a highly sought after JUCO linebacker prospect in just one year.

Coming out of Chula Vista High School a year ago, Tutogi didn't receive a single scholarship offer, but now he has Pac-10 schools battling it out for his commitment.

"I was kind of overlooked coming out of high school," Tutogi said. "It's definitely different because I have never had this feeling before. It's a blessing."

After taking an official visit to USC this weekend, he is now focused on two schools, and plans to announce his decision on Dec.15th

"I narrowed it down to two places – USC and Washington," he said. "Both schools are very high up for me because I love both schools."

The 6-1, 235-pound recruit was hosted by freshman defensive lineman George Uko on his official visit, and enjoyed his time in Los Angeles.

"Everything was cool and went good," said Tutogi, who grew up a fan of the Trojans. "I got to meet some of the players and we got to hangout so it was real cool."

The highlight of the trip was being around the coaching staff and learning what role he would play in Monte Kiffin's scheme.

"Just being in the presence of everybody like Lane Kiffin and Monte Kiffin was a blessing," he said.

In his freshman campaign, Tutogi recorded 96 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks as a middle linebacker, but he is being looked at as an outside linebacker by the Trojans.

"Coach Barry broke it down to me that he could see me playing either outside linebacker position. Coach Barry is a great guy, I really like him," he said. "Being there this weekend gave me an idea of just how good he is."

The talented linebacker took an official visit to Washington in November and is also very high on the Huskies.

"With Washington, I really liked the atmosphere with the players. I really fit in with all the players and all the coaches," Tutogi explained. "The coaches are nice and young and they are cool people to be around.

"I love the atmosphere. The best thing that caught my eye was how quickly I fit in with the players."

Tutogi was a full-qualifier coming out of high school and plans to enroll in January, so he will have four years to play three at either school.


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