Klein (Texas) Oak running back E.J. Fatu had a big year for the Panthers as their feature back this past season. However, the 5-foot-11, 235-pound junior's future is likely as a fullback. With the position coming back in vogue a bit in college football, he has found himself on the receiving end of quite a bit of recruiting attention.
Fatu was offered by Arizona State during his junior campaign and has added two offers since then. A Pac-12 school came forward with the most recent one.
"I just got off the phone with the coach from Utah, coach (Morgan) Scalley," Fatu said late Wednesday evening. "He said they liked my film and that they were offering me a scholarship.
"I had gotten a couple letters from them I didn't know they were recruiting me this hard."
Fatu played some linebacker as a sophomore at Klein Oak and the Utes see him possibly lining up there again.
"They had passed my film to the defensive coach," he said. "The defensive coach wants me to go play linebacker or says I can play d-tackle or something like that. Then they gave it to the head coach and the head coach said he liked it.
"They want me to play both linebacker and fullback. They might just decide once I get on campus or I could end up playing both."
Fatu also recently received an offer from a Big Ten program that came as a complete shock to him.
"Michigan offered me a few weeks ago," he said. "I don't even know how they knew about me. I didn't even get anything from them until they offered me. That one really came out of nowhere. They offered me as a halfback/fullback.
"The recruiting coach, coach Fred Jackson, that man is cool. I talked to him and he said they wanted to offer me."
As far as other potential offers, Fatu has no idea where he stands at the moment.
"I have no idea," he said. "But, like I said, Michigan just came out of nowhere so it's a blessing that these schools are coming to me, especially schools like Michigan since they're way up there. I didn't expect them to come all the way to Houston and recruit me."
Fatu has yet to take any unofficial visits this spring but should see a few places over the summer.
"I'm going to go visit Utah, definitely," he said. "I might visit Michigan. It all depends if my mom wants to since she's paying for the ticket. It's going to have to be her call on everything."
Fatu says it is too early to name any favorites as he is planning to take a while before making a final decision.
"No not really," he said. "I'm just going to wait and go through my senior year and hopefully I'll find the right college for me."
Fatu was a second-team all-district selection after helping lead Klein Oak to the Class 5A state playoffs this past season. He carried the ball 158 times for 1,005 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 168 yards and two more scores.