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Utah, UCLA battling for 3-star DT Keanu Tanuvasa

Keanu Tanuvasa
Keanu Tanuvasa

HONOLULU -- Signing Day came and went without three-star California defensive lineman Keanu Tanuvasa signing with a school and that was all part of his plan to take more time and make the right decision. Now, with just a few weeks until February's Signing Day, things are starting to come into focus for Tanuvasa as he weighs his options over two Pac-12 programs. Rivals.com caught up with Tanuvasa at the Polynesian Bowl to get the details on his recruitment headed into the final stretch.

IN HIS WORDS

"I didn't want to sign early because I needed some more time. Now I'm still looking at UCLA and Utah."

Message from Utah: "They're just talking about LDS and how they're accepting of the fact that I'm going on my mission and that they will have a spot waiting for me when I get back. They think I can grow and learn and fit in nicely at defensive tackle, where they've had some great guys over the years."

Importance of mission flexibility: "That's really important to me. The way that they accept that and have had people go and come back and have success for their team, that's big. I really like Utah and I'm happy that they are willing to wait because I really liked Boise State and they weren't willing to do the same thing, so I had to bump them out of the mix."

Fit in defense: "They see me with the same aggressiveness on the field and the same strength to take on the double teams as the guys they have now. So I look forward to having the chance to potentially play for them, especially with the way they produce defensive linemen and put guys in the league. That's my goal."

Official visit: "I'm taking my official there next week. I'm looking forward to being back on campus and spending time with the coaches."

UCLA: "At first they were kind of iffy with the whole mission thing, but now they accept it and they told me they will wait. That has given me more to think about. Because they don't have the same history of doing it like Utah, so it's kind of a different story."

Official visit: "I'm trying to set up an official for Jan. 31 and get that locked in."

Defensive staff: "Their defensive coordinator was a defensive line coach and he coached in the NFL with Coach (Chip) Kelly. His intelligence and familiarity with my position will only benefit me and my position and my technique. I want to get to that NFL standard one day and he knows what it takes to get there."

Proximity to home: "I do like the idea of staying close to home so my parents can come see every game so we'll see what happens. My mom likes UCLA because of that and because of the education there."

Decision: "I'm going to announce my decision in February and sign on Signing Day."

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