LA MIRADA, Calif. - Tyler Luatua might be one of the top tight ends in the 2014 class and the 6-foot-4, 230-pound recruit said Friday night that two programs especially stand out early.
Alabama and USC are the top two for the La Mirada standout who also shined as a standup defensive end/outside linebacker in a comfortable victory over Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) St. Paul.
"We came into the game and everyone doubted us that we weren't going to win," Luatua said. "That only pushed us more to work hard on every play.
"I love both positions but tight end is better. That's the best position for me."
Luatua's brother, Isaac, already plays for the Crimson Tide and he's spoken highly of the SEC powerhouse. That will be a draw for the 2014 recruit but USC is down the road and definitely playing a big factor in his decision-making process as well.
"With my brother over there that's probably my first choice and I like USC, too," Luatua said. "It is mainly those two schools.
"He's the only thing that would be close to home if I went to Alabama. They're working hard every day and getting after it and he said the coaches are really good there.
"All my family would be close to me and they could see me and I could see them so that is a draw to USC."
So far, Luatua has landed offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Cal, Colorado, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington State.
A decision is not expected until much later in his recruitment.
"I want to do it later," Luatua said. "I just want to focus on my grades."