Since Stanford offered Solomon Tuliaupupu in November the recruit’s stock has been one to buy. The linebacker, who transferred to Mater Dei this semester from Claremont High, has received offers from elite programs throughout the country.
Tuliaupupu has recently talked about visiting campuses outside of California, but he was able to make a short trip up to Stanford Saturday with his 7-on-7 team. He was only able to spend about an hour on campus, but the the teaser trailer was more than enough to convince him to return for the feature.
“It was really cool,” he said. “It was like a painting. It was surreal.”
Tuliaupupu has talked to inside linebackers coach Peter Hansen and special teams coach Pete Alamar the most in his recruitment. Hansen wasn’t on campus, he said, but Tuliaupupu was able to meet other members of the staff, including a highly anticipated encounter with head coach David Shaw.
“I was so excited when I got to go and meet Coach Shaw,” he said. “I was in fan mode.”
The brief visit was another step in becoming comfortable with the Stanford coaches: “I believe our relationship is going quite well. They’re definitely great people. I just have to get back up there. It’s a matter of getting back up there and getting to see the rest of the big campus, the program and meet some of the guys.”
Tuliaupupu and his teammates watched a presentation about the Stanford football team and how it fit within the university's expectation of student-athletes.
“When I was up there Coach Shaw gave a presentation that was pretty great,” he said. “He explained what it takes -- what type of player is takes to be there and what kind of student you have to be. Just the grind. Everywhere you go you have to grind, but Stanford is … a grind in school and football.”
Tuliaupupu said he won’t shy away from the work he needs to do off the field to be recruited by Stanford. He has talked to coaches about the classes and tests he needs to take.
“I’m definitely ready for it,” he said. “If I have to do it, I have to do it. Have to keep praying, stay focused and anything is possible.”
Tuliaupupu said the move to the private school powerhouse in Santa Ana has helped him on and off the field.
“I feel it was a great for me to get ready for the college lifestyle,” he said. “It’s challenging (with) the education aspect of it and of course I’m making new friends. I already have new brothers who have the same goals and chasing the same dreams.”
One of those dreams, of course, is playing college football. But he’s not in a rush to make a decision of where that will be.
“Keep my head down and keep working,” he said. “I’m not too worried about choosing a school or the whole process right now.”