Pio Vatuvei said he had to follow his heart and that's why the four-star defensive end from Patterson, Calif., flipped from USC to Washington on National Signing Day.
"I just signed this morning and I'm going there for sure," Vatuvei said.
"It was a long process. I was committed to USC and everything but I had to follow my heart. It was always at Washington ever since I took my visit there in November with coach (Steve) Sarkisian and everyone there."
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Vatuvei, a 6-foot-2, 265-pound prospect, said it was also important in recent weeks that defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi came to Washington from Cal. Lupoi is considered one of the top recruiters in the country.
That also played a factor in the decision for Vatuvei, who said he looked at both programs and considered where he saw himself for the next few years.
The four-star said deciding between USC and Washington was not easy.
"It was a big plus when they brought in coach Lupoi and I'm really excited to be a part of that program," Vatuvei said.
"It was a rollercoaster. I was always up and down between USC and Washington. I asked myself what would happen at both schools. It really came down to where I see myself at for the next few years."
Rivals.com rates Vatuvei as the No. 11 weak-side defensive end, No. 145 in the 2012 class and No. 22 in the California state rankings.
Washington has done a tremendous job recently flipping committed players. Five-star Shaq Thompson came to the Huskies from Cal as did four-star Jordan Payton in recent days.