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Four-star DT honored, has leader

LOMPOC, Calif. - Four-star defensive tackle Ainuu Taua received his U.S. Army All-American jersey at a ceremony late Monday morning at his high school. 

Four-star defensive tackle Ainuu Taua is honored as a U.S. Army All-American and also says Ole Miss, where he will visit in a couple of weeks, is his current leader.

“Its a great way to represent where I’m from,” Taua told 247Sports Monday morning at his high school. “Not too many people get to play in this game. I’ve been watching it since I was in middle school. It means a lot to me.”

As a junior, the Lompoc (Calif.) standout recorded 32 solo tackles, nine sacks, seven tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception returned for a touchdown.

“Its truly an honor to be considered a U.S. Army All-American,” Lompoc coach Andrew Jones said. “To be one of the Top 90 players in the country. His teammates, student body, faculty and teaches are proud of him. He’s a tremendous role model.”

Taua, the nation’s No. 24 defensive tackle for the 2014 cycle, has already taken an official visit to Washington State.

“It seems like they have a lot of new facilities,” Taua said. “The campus is small. I like their defensive line coach. I get along with him well.”

This weekend the defensive lineman will head to Oklahoma for his second official visit.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the coaches in person and seeing what the town is like,” Taua said. 

On the weekend of Oct. 19, the 5-foot-11, 287-pounder will take his third official visit to Ole Miss.

“They seem to have a lot of real good defensive linemen,” Taua said. “That would take the load off of me and I wouldn’t see as many double teams. Teams would have to focus on them more. They have some beasts. That program is going on the up and improving. They are my favorite now.”

The Rebels, along with UCLA, are coming after the No. 29 recruit in the 2014 class in California the hardest in his estimation.

“That’s the feeling right now,” Taua said. “I may take my fourth official visit to Arizona. I’ve been to UCLA a few times so I don’t think I’ll take one there. I may take one to Hawaii for the last one. I’m not sure.”

Who is still after him? Who is he still considering?

“Ole Miss, UCLA, Washington State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Arizona,” Taua said. “Now that Lane Kiffin got fired at USC I’m definitely going to look at USC more, too. I plan on announcing my decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl probably.” 

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