football

Three major contenders for Vatuvei

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Pio Vatuvei has been committed to USC since August but Utah and Washington are still pushing for his commitment and the four-star defensive end from Patterson, Calif., just retuned from his second-to-last trip.
The 6-foot-2, 265-pound recruit said the Utah coaching staff is recruiting him the hardest and after his visit there this past weekend the Utes are definitely under consideration.
"Utah was a great trip," Vatuvei said. "I really liked it. I talked to the coaches and really liked meeting with the players. Utah is really up there. That's why they're in my top four because it's a place I could really see myself being.
"I really like the coaching staff. Utah is the one recruiting me the hardest. They always call me, they visit my house every chance they get and also they show me the most love out of any school. Utah is really up there and visiting over there made me think about seeing where I might possibly end up."
Before Vatuvei makes his final decision, he's going to visit USC this weekend. Vatuvei had an in-home visit with the Trojans' coaching staff on Sunday night and now he's looking forward to his last visit.
This trip could be important as Vatuvei finalizes his decision which is whether to stick with the Trojans or flip to either Utah or Washington.
New Washington assistant coaches Tosh Lupoi and Justin Wilcox are expected to visit with Vatuvei on Thursday before he leaves for Los Angeles. The four-star said meeting with Lupoi and Wilcox could play a major role as he decides.
"It could definitely be a big factor," Vatuvei said. "I've already talked to coach Wilcox, he already saw me right after he got hired. I'm going to ask coach Tosh why he left Cal. Cal was a really big player in my decision because of coach Lupoi. Now that he's at Washington I want him to tell me what Washington could do for me.
"I'm keeping it all equal right now. I haven't taken my visit to USC yet so right now all three are equal. Next week I should know what I'm doing."
Cal is not being written off yet but Vatuvei said he doesn't know where he stands with the Golden Bears so they would be a stretch at this point.
"I really haven't had that much contact with Cal yet," he said. "I'm trying to see where they're at and whether they still want me. Right now it seems Cal is out of the race and I think I'm going to stick with Washington, Utah and USC."
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