Derek Tuimauga, the massive 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive lineman from Bingham High School in South Jordan (Utah), already has scholarship offers from Oregon and Utah, with more likely to come.
Tuimauga favors Oregon and says the Ducks lead solidly over Utah, BYU, California and Washington. "The coaches at Oregon are great and they were the first school to offer me," he said. "It felt like a second home to me when I was there last year. I really think they have one of the best programs in the nation. They showed me a lot of attention at their camp last summer and said I could really contribute to their o-line and do well."
He plans to attend the Oregon Junior Day on April 28. "They've shown me the most interest and are always texting me and seeing how things are going."
Although the Ducks are his top choice, Tuimauga's favorite school growing up was BYU. "I like the coaches a lot and the program is heading in the right direction," he said. "It's a nice place and they are only 25 minutes away. I like how close-knit the team is.
"They are really interested and I think I'll be getting an offer from them soon."
The other in-state school, Utah, is also about 30 minutes from his house. "Utah has been really good for the last few years," Tuimauga said. "They win a lot and I like how hard they work. They just have that attitude that they want to win."
The other upside for BYU and Utah is that Tuimauga is Mormon and he plans on taking his mission. "That's going to be a main part for me," he said. "I know that Utah and BYU would be okay with it and I've already talked with Oregon about it too. I just need to find out what Cal and Washington say."
And he'll be able to find out this weekend when he visits the Huskies on April 7. "I know a few guys who have played for coach Tyrone Willingham and everyone has good things to say about him. He's the kind of coach that cares about his players as people and not just football players."
He will also be attending the Cal camp in June and the BYU camp later in the summer.
Tuimauga can bench an incredible 405 pounds and already squats 485. He runs the 40 in 5.45 seconds and has a 24-inch vertical jump.
"I can read defenses good and have all the fundamentals," Tuimauga said. "I'm football smart and a good leader. I can block really well too and am very strong.
"I'd like to be quicker and learn to read the linebacker better. I also want to improve my blocking in the open field."
He reports a 3.6 core GPA and a 22 ACT, which he will retake on April 14. "I'm looking into going into either psychology or economics. I know Oregon has a really good business school and I'm looking forward to checking that out."