Alabama is hoping to land a second 5-star prospect from St. Louis School (Honolulu) this recruiting cycle in the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele.
Tuitele, a 6-foot-4, 299-pound prospect, released his final five schools on Monday, and Alabama made the cut along with Clemson, Ohio State, Washington and Texas. Those five schools are expected to receive official visits from Tuitele this fall.
TOP 5 IS HERE.. Please respect my decision. No interviews at this time. To God Be the Glory. pic.twitter.com/ZptMOwnAvH
— FAATUI TUITELE (@tuitele87) May 21, 2018
The All-American, who’s former teammates and cousins with Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, visited Tuscaloosa for the first time last month. The Tuiteles and Tagovailoas had dinner with each other when they visited the school last month. The patriarch of the Tagovailoa family, Galu, provided insight on that dinner and whether the distance from home would be an issue.
“They see that there is so much potential out here and a lot that can benefit their son,” Galu Tagovailoa said. “I don’t think their son coming out here is an issue. The kid is all about competition. That’s why he’s one of the best linemen in the country. Competition isn’t going to stop him from getting to where he wants to get to. So, 5,000 miles isn’t going to stop him if Alabama is the school he wants to go to.”
Galu Tagovailoa said the family didn’t have any reservations about sending their kids across country for college. But, much like Tua’s recruitment, Southern Cal always has to be considered a big threat here.
The transition for Tuitele, if did choose Alabama, wouldn’t be as drastic as it was for Tua, who didn’t have any family already at the school like Tuitele would have in Tua and Taulia Tagovailoa, who’s one of Alabama’s quarterback commitments in the 2019 class. It also helps that the Hawaiian brothers’ parents live roughly an hour away from the university in Alabaster, Ala., so there’s always a home for Tuitele and his family to stay if needed.
So, how would Galu Tagovailoa classify the Tide’s chances with one of the team’s top defensive line targets?
“Alabama has a really, really good chance with him,” Galu Tagovailoa said.