Timpview linebacker Ofa Latu accepted a scholarship offer from University of Utah coaches Kalani Sitake and Jay Hill on Monday night.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder was a key defensive contributor to Timpview's last two state championships, finishing with 80 tackles and five interceptions his senior season. He was named the Deseret News 4A MVP.
"He understands the game. He has great football savvy as far as field presence and looking at an offense and seeing what they're trying to do and distract and disrupt it," said Timpview coach Louis Wong.
Latu will make his commitment to the Utes official next Wednesday when he signs his National Letter of Intent.
Latu plans on enrolling at the University of Utah this summer before leaving on an LDS Church Mission in the fall.
When he returns from his mission he'll feel right at home playing at Rice-Eccles Stadium, where he led Timpview to four victories the past two years. During the playoffs at the U. last November he recorded four total interceptions in victories over Springville and Mountain Crest.
Latu became the heart of Timpview's defense when teammate Bronson Kaufusi went down with a season-ending knee injury early in the year. His versatility was a big reason why the T-Birds didn't miss a beat without Kaufusi and only allowed 13.8 points per game this season. At times, he even played on the defensive line when necessary.
"His ability to play where we need him based on what an offense is trying to do to us was big for us," said Wong.