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July 29, 2012For the last week, Brighton (Sandy, Utah) linebacker Uaea Masina has been mulling his college choice after narrowing his list to three schools. Masina ended his recruitment Sunday evening, choosing to stay close to family and play for the hometown Utes.
Masina had narrowed his final choices to Utah, BYU and San Diego State. For Masina, the decision to stay close to home came down to feeling most comfortable around the program. "I chose Utah because I love the feeling up there. Every time I went up there, I was already feeling like a part of the team. When I met the players, they made me feel like I was one of them," Masina said.
Masina, whose primary recruiter was Utah defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake, has developed a close bond with the Ute defensive coaches. "Coach Kalani, I called him to tell him [I was ready to commit] and before I could tell him that I was committing he started talking about how excited he is about the defense," he said. "When I told him I was committing, he was really excited. He said he can't wait to get me on the field," he said. "It's a great feeling to know that I'll be surrounded by great people."
At 6-foot-4 inches and 200 pounds, Masina believes he'll be a strong fit at any of the Utah linebacker spots. "[Coach Sitake] tells me I could play any one of the three linebacker positions. Right now because I'm younger and lighter, I'm more of a pass coverage type guy, but it all depends on how I show up in practice and apply myself during the season and offseason," he explained.
Masina's commitment was a little bittersweet, as he had to break the news to coaches from BYU and San Diego State that they didn't make the cut. "It's crazy. They're all great guys. You get to know them so well. It's heart wrenching to tell them, but I would rather tell them myself than have them hear it from other people," he said.
Masina had been heavily recruited by in-state Rivals Utah and BYU, and the reaction of each coaching staff to the news of his commitment went as he expected. "Both schools really wanted me to go there, and when I told Utah they were ecstatic. The BYU coaches were happy for me as a person. They told me I'd be great up there and if anything goes wrong to let them know, but they definitely wanted me down there," he said.
According to Masina, his commitment to the Utes is solid. "I don't see it changing. That's the school I want to go to. If I could sign the paper right now I would," he said.