L.T. Filiaga the 6-foot, 235-pound three-star middle linebacker has led Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah, to the 5A state finals. They will be playing in-state rival Alta High School from Sandy, Utah, on Friday, Nov. 21.
Filiaga, ranked as the No. 23 middle linebacker in the country by Scout.com, has 92 total tackles (50 assists/42 solos), four sacks, three fumbles caused and one interception.
As a youngster, Filiaga followed both No. 16 BYU and No. 8 Utah and the Cougars and Utes remain his favorites. He says they are both recruiting him the hardest and he may be in attendance when they play each other on Nov. 22.
"I think it'll be a great game," said Filiaga, who is LDS. "From what I've seen, I think Utah will probably win it, but I'll be cheering for both. It's a big game and if Utah can pull it off I definitely think they deserve to be in a top BCS bowl."
Filiaga has had the chance to attend several Utah games already this season and is very impressed with the Utes. "I like how the team is run," he said. "They are very focused on defense and not making mistakes. They use the players to the best of their abilities and the coaches bring out the best in the players."
Another thing that stands out to Filiaga about the Utes is their depth chart. "They are losing some linebackers this year," he said. "I think that I'd have a great chance to start as a freshman there."
Filiaga also likes his chances of starting early at BYU. "I like how they are playing a lot of freshman this year," he said.
One of those freshman that the Cougs have playing is Filiaga's former teammate, (linebacker) Iona Pritchard. "I've seen him get a lot of playing time and that makes me think that could be me next year," he said.
Filiaga says he hasn't had a chance to catch up with his former teammate yet this season, but plans on picking his brain about college and the recruiting process during the Thanksgiving holiday. "We'll be getting together, so I'll definitely ask him some questions," he said.
Although they aren't undefeated like their in-state rival, BYU is having a great season of their own. "They had a real strong start," he said. "And even though they lost a game they always kept their heads up.
"I like how they're not concerned with rankings and that kind of stuff," he said. "They are all about team. It's a whole team concept there and they don't seem to get caught up in all the media stuff."
Filiaga will be visiting BYU officially on Jan. 10 and Utah on Jan. 17.
While it may seem that this is strictly a two-team race, Filiaga insists that he's open to leaving the state. In fact, the two other schools in the running are Arizona and Stanford.
"I haven't set up visits there yet, but I plan to," he said. "My parents and I would like to get the experience of an out-of-state school. We always followed the in-state programs and really want to see what other schools have to offer."
Filiaga said he's especially interested in visiting Arizona. "I'm really looking forward to getting out there and seeing how I fit in," he said of the Wildcats. "(Defensive line) Coach Mike Tuiasosopo came out to my game a little while back and he's a great guy.
"He said they have a lot of seniors leaving on defense and thinks that I'm one of the best linebackers they are recruiting," he said. "He said he sees me really stepping up for them and playing early there."
Although he still says Stanford as a possibility, Filiaga admits he hasn't been communicating with the Cardinal coaches very much recently. "It's been a while since we've talked," he said. "I've heard good things about Stanford, but I haven't had a chance to keep track of them this season."
All of Filiaga's favorites have offered as well as UNLV and Washington.
One school that has fallen off Filiaga's list is LSU. "(Offensive coordinator) Coach Gary Crowton said they like me as a fullback and they asked me to come on an official visit," he said. "But I don't think I'm gonna go there because I think I'd rather stay at linebacker."
Filiaga reports a 3.8 core GPA and a 19 ACT