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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

El Camino CC (CA) Simi Kuli offered by Texas A&M

Brian Perroni
With three senior and four junior defensive linemen on the Texas A&M roster for the 2007 season, it is apparent that it is a need position in recruiting for the class of 2008. However, the Aggie coaches would like a few players who are capable of competing from day one to complement their haul of high school prospects.

Dennis Alvalar
JUCO DE Simi Kuli is very interested in Texas A&M
The Aggies have already garnered one junior college defensive end commitment in Grossmont (Calif.) College's Matt Moss and they appear to be hoping to land another.

Simi Kuli, a 6-foot-4, 270 pound defensive end from El Camino College in California is another player that the coaches have targeted. The Los Angeles native was offered by the Aggies awhile back and he says that he is very interested in Texas A&M.

"I've been building a strong bond with the D-line coach, coach Eggen," said Kuli. "I'm definitely planning on visiting Texas A&M this summer."

While the Aggies were one of the first schools to offer Kuli, he has become quite a hot commodity as of late. In fact, he has a hard timing remembering all of the schools that have offered.

"Man, to be honest with you I'd say more than a dozen but I'm not sure on the exact number," Kuli said about his offer count.

However, Kuli said that he is not ready to sit down and name a list of favorite schools just quite yet. However, he does say that the Aggie will be in his final group.

"If I did have a list of favorites, A&M would be on it," he said. "I'm still looking at everyone but Texas A&M is one of my top choices.

"I'm just keeping all of my options open right now. I'm thinking about all of these offers but I'm mainly trying to focus on my season right now. But I'm still looking at schools at the same time. I will be taking trips in the summer. Texas A&M and Nebraska are the only ones that I'm sure I'm visiting as of right now."

With Kuli's Tongan background, it would seem that Texas A&M would have an advantage in the fact that the Aggies have had several players of Pacific Island descent in the past few years. However, he said that will not really play a factor in his decision.

"Oh no, it doesn't matter," Kuli said of a school's makeup. "I'm not really like the other people that say, 'I have to go to a school where there's Polynesians.' I wanna go to a place that I'll be surrounded by good people, a good school, a school that will take care of me. If there's Polynesians there then that's even greater, that's a good side to come with the school but it's not something that's affecting my decision."

However, Kuli says that he does know one current Aggie that is also of Tongan descent, starting linebacker Misi Tupe.

"I just talked to him last week," Kuli said of Tupe. "He's a very good guy. He's going to call me on a regular basis, check on me and see how I'm doing, see if I'm okay you know. He's a real good guy."

Kuli actually owes his football career to his cousin, 2007 Arizona signee Vuna Tuihalamaka.

"My cousin Vuna was the middle linebacker at El Camino," Kuli said. "I was just working and stuff and he kept saying, 'Man why don't you come play football here? You got talent, you can make it here. Why don't you come play football like the old days, like in high school?' So I went there, tried out and got the spot and I've been playing for El Camino ever since."

However, he insists that Tuihalamaka's presence does not give the Wildcats a leg up for his services.

"No, no it doesn't affect me. I'm making my decision that's best for me."

Despite starting the season as a walk-on, Kuli finished his freshman campaign with 4.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in helping lead El Camino to the California State Championship. He will have three years to play two when he graduates in May 2008.

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