Alani Fua is considered by most to be a promising prospect at defensive end, but he's ready to prove he's much more than just that.
The Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian standout also played some tight end last fall, but he spent the season in the shadow of Arizona State-bound tight end Chris Coyle.
"I didn't get to play that much tight end, so this year I feel like people could see a whole new side of me," Fua said. "This year, I'll be able to start both ways."
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound defensive end collected 67 tackles and three sacks as a junior, and could project out as a hybrid defense end/outside linebacker in college.
And despite only making two catches for 16 yards and a touchdown last fall, several of the six schools that have offered Fua are interested in playing him on offense.
"BYU is saying I could play tight end or outside linebacker," he said. "Ohio State just wants me as a tight end. That's a decision I'm going to have to make. I like getting sacks, but I also like getting touchdowns."
Fua has focused his list down to five schools, but it still open to hear from other schools that haven't offered yet. He'd like to pick a school before his senior season begins this fall.
"I'd say BYU, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State and Ohio State would be the five at this point," he said.
Of the five, Fua said he talks to BYU the most and has had much contact with head coach Bronco Mendenhall recently.
"I like that they're a Mormon school, because I'm Mormon," he said. "I also plan on majoring in something business-related, and I know they have an elite business system. I have a lot of family there, too.
"I've actually been talking to coach Mendenhall a lot and coach Barry Lamb. They're real cool guys, and I've known coach Lamb a while since he recruits our program. I went out to their junior day and met all their coaches, and I liked them all. It's a cool group of guys."
Washington has come on strong recently, and Fua hopes to visit Seattle by the end of the summer. He's also interested in visiting UCLA, a school he likes that hasn't offered.
The recent commitment of two of Fua's teammates has had a big influence on his recruiting process. Linebacker Zac Stout gave his verbal pledge to BYU, and quarterback Nick Montana committed to UDub.
"Stout has been trying to get me to commit every day," Fua said with a laugh. "And that's kind of why I'm interested in Washington, now that Nick's going there I would have my quarterback throwing to me."
Fua has had a hard time taking visits and attending camps because he's been busy playing another sport: volleyball. He plays middle blocker for Santa Monica Beach Club 17-Black Team.
"Right now, I'm playing volleyball so I have a really busy schedule with football and volleyball at the same time," he said. "I go to the Junior Olympics next week for volleyball, and once that's over I'll have a lot more time for football."