On Friday, UCLA landed a major addition to its 2012 recruiting efforts with the verbal pledge of offensive guard Hiva Lutui out of Euless (Texas) Trinity. Lutui, a four-star prospect and one of the top players in the state of Texas chose the Bruins over Iowa, Oregon State, Utah and Arizona State.
“I was planning on verbally committing somewhere before the season started and I’ve been talking to friends and family this week about it,” Lutui said on Friday afternoon. “I think one of the main things about UCLA is location. Where it’s located is where my parents stay at. My parents stay in Anaheim and it’s right down there road there so my parents can come watch me play ball and stuff.”
Education and the campus itself were also big pieces of the decision for Lutui.
“I know they have a great education program too,” he said. “I made an unofficial visit there this past summer. It was nice. I think that’s one of the nicest campuses in the country.”
Lutui noted that while he is committed, he is keeping an eye on the UCLA staff to see if there will be any coaching changes this season. He is also planning on taking official visits to the rest of his top five.
“I’m planning on making visits to UCLA, Oregon State, Utah, Arizona State and Iowa,” he said. “Those are my top five right now. I already talked to some of them about visits. Now I just have to figure out the dates.”
Currently though, Lutui is excited about his decision and his football quickly approaching football season which starts on Monday with the first practice. UCLA is clearly excited as well.
“They were like going crazy on the phone,” he said. “They’re just glad I finally made a decision and glad I chose them.”