Alabama Football: Can Tua lure a 5-Star Hawaiian ’19 defensive tackle?

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Alabama Crimson Tide fans cheer during the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Alabama Crimson Tide fans cheer during the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT /

Alabama football has to load up with defensive linemen in the ’19 class. Tua may be a big help landing fellow Hawaiian, 5-Star DT, Faatui Tuitele.

Alabama football needs to sign a minimum of four defensive linemen in the 2019 recruiting class. So far, the Tide has issued 13 offers for defensive tackles. At this point, the highest priority among those offers is 5-Star, Ishmael Sopsher from Amite, LA. Sopsher is the No. 1 ranked DT in the 2019 signing class.

In addition to Sopsher, Alabama football’s offers have gone to 10, 4-Star DT’s and two 3-Stars. According to 247Sports, among the 4-Stars are five of the Top Ten rated defensive tackles in the 2019 class.

There is another 5-Star prospect high on the Alabama football big board. He is Faatui Tuitele, who played with Tua Tagovailoa at St. Loius High Scholl in Hawaii before Tua moved to Tuscaloosa. Tuitele is in frequent communication with new Crimson Tide defensive coordinator, Tosh Lupoi. The Tide has not extended an offer yet but one will probably quickly follow Tuitele’s scheduled April visit to Tuscaloosa.

Tuitele has no shortage of offers from top programs. He already has over 30 offers with USC and Oregon tabbed by most recruiting experts as his leaders. Other top programs working hard to rein in Tuitele are UCLA, Washington, Clemson, FSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Stanford, Penn State and Ohio State.

Tuitele told Chris Kirchner,

"There’s no distance that I’ll hold myself to. Nothing will limit which college I want to go to. Location doesn’t play any factor in my choice in the end. My family wants me to choose the school that I am most comfortable at."

Faatui and Tua have a family connection

Besides being a former teammate of Tua, Faatui is also a distant cousin. Speaking of Tua and his family, Tuitele said,

"He (Tua) has a great family. Uncle Galu and Auntie Diane (Tagovailoa’s parents) are great people and back him up with everything. We are raised to put God first with everything. That’s what Tua did. He represented our culture, our people and the island so well. It was awesome to see."

Bama Online spoke with Tuitele about the possibility of playing for the Crimson Tide.

"The program speaks for itself, especially this past year with Alabama winning the championship, especially with Tua playing, it motivated me to want to get involved with the Alabama program."

Alabama football has some strong advantages is signing Tuitele. Tosh Lupoi is a great recruiter. Tuitele’s connection with Tua and the positive experience the Tagovailoa family have enjoyed in relocating to Alabama is another big plus. In addition, arguably the best defensive line position coach in college football, new Tide hire Craig Kuligowski is another advantage. Ten months away from the next early signing period, there are no recruits 100 percent locked-in to a school. Still, Alabama football looks to be in a great position for Tuitele.

Next: 2018 Alabama Football Signing Class

Even though it is ‘way too early’ to predict any 2019 class signee, Alabama football insiders believe the Tide leads for Sopsher. Alabama football has a real chance to sign three or maybe four of the 2019, Top Ten DT’s.