The recruitment of Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany linebacker Niuafe Tuihalamaka is set to come to a close, as the four-star Texas linebacker target is set to announce his commitment this weekend.
“I’m going to commit on Saturday (June 19th),” Tuihalamaka told 247Sports Greg Biggins. “I feel I’m ready and I’m excited to make my decision. I wanted to take a few more trips but I don’t think it’s necessary and I feel good about what I want to do now.”
Four-Star LB Niuafe “Junior” Tuihalamaka tells me that he will announce his commitment today at 3PM EDT / 2PM CDT / 12PM PDT— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) June 19, 2021
He will choose between Notre Dame, Texas, Stanford, and Arizona State@JuniorNiuafe
The former USC pledge included Texas in his top five in February, alongside Notre Dame, Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona State. However, he only officially visited the Longhorns and Fighting Irish, doing so on June 7.
“I loved it there,” Tuihalamaka said of Texas. “I loved the players and the coaches as well as the overall fit in the defense. The new staff is awesome and they want me to come in and be ready to play right away.’
More recently, Tuihalamaka toured South Bend this past weekend, and had rave reviews for the Irish, as well.
“They have been the most consistent with recruiting me this whole cycle and it was great to meet the coaches face to face,” Tuihalamaka said of Notre Dame. “Coach Kelly and coach Freeman are great people and I love the academic feel out there and so does my mom.
“I loved the campus and the tradition out there, you can feel it. Like Texas, they see me being able to step in and compete for playing time right away at that inside ‘backer spot so I’m really excited about the opportunity both schools provide.”
Of course, giving Tuihalamaka’s comment that he’s seen all he needs to see, it’s safe to assume this has become a two-horse race between Texas and Notre Dame, and at this juncture, all signs point towards the Irish coming out on top, as they currently own all seven of his Crystal Ball projections.
We’ll see if those expectations come to fruition on Saturday.
Tuihalamaka is ranked as the No. 108 prospect nationally and as the No. 11 linebacker, per the 247Sports Composite.