One of the top two way linemen out West the past couple of years has been Encino (Calif.) Crespi's Sione Fua. Fua, 6-2, 295 pounds is getting looks on both sides of the ball and is gearing up for an exciting January with three of his visits lined up with one school looking like a slight leader.
Fua earned all-state underclass honors a year ago and despite missing half the season this year, was recently named 1st team all Southern Section by the L.A. Times on the defensive side of the ball. Fua totaled 59 tackles and five sacks and helped lead Crespi to their second straight CIF Div X championship.
Former Crespi head coach Troy Thomas, currently the head guy at Servite, was on the staff for the recent CaliFlorida Bowl and raved about his former player who he still tries to stay in touch with.
"He's a great player and an even better kid," Thomas said. "I played football with his dad so I've known Sione forever. He was good as a junior but then lost a bunch of weight for wrestling and came in to this season even better. I know he had the injury but when he was on the field, he looked incredible on both sides of the ball. He could play on either side but with his size and how smart he is, I love him as a center and feel that would be his best college position."
Although Fua has never played center before, it could be in his genes as he's the cousin of current Cal center Marvin Phillip, one of the nation's best players at the position. Fua has already visited Cal and has three more trips lined up.
"I'm going to BYU this weekend (Jan. 6), Stanford (Jan. 13) and Oregon (Jan. 20)," Fua said. "I'm keeping that last trip open right now. I could make my decision after my visit to Oregon or I could take a 5th trip, it just depends on where I'm at with my decision.
"I don't have a leader right now, but I can say I would like to play in the Pac 10 just because of the prestige of the conference. That's how I feel now but things could change after my visits."
One school that could be prove tough to beat might be Stanford. Fua said he was just cleared a week ago by the Cardinal admissions and we've heard from some close to the situation including Thomas that Stanford might be the leader.
"I like Stanford but I'm open to everyone,' Fua said. "I'm looking for a school that has a stable coaching situation, is a winning program with a chance to compete for championships and is strong academically."
Fua is carrying a 4.1 GPA and scored a 1680 on the new SAT. He said he would like to major in Business.