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June 5, 2013

Longhorns offer top national tight end



The Texas Longhorns have taken their tight end evaluations to a national level and on Wednesday the UT coaches extended an offer to one of the country's best.

La Mirada (CA) standout Tyler Luatua, who will participate in this week's Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, picked up a scholarship offer from Texas on Wednesday morning.

The 6-4, 230-pound Luatua is a Rivals250 member who is a true tight end, capable of impacting a game either as a blocker or as a receiver.

"What makes him so special, we're not a spread offense, we're more of a West Coast offense. We do move him around, but he can play wide receiver, H-back, tight end. He's so special because he's physical in the run game and he's so athletic in the passing game," said La Mirada head coach Mike Moschetti. "It's hard to find a combination of the two.

"He can play in the spread and run by you. Or he can play with his hand on the ground. He's a true tight end. You could put him at receiver, H-back, fullback. He could even be an outstanding outside linebacker."

Texas assistant coach Major Applewhite stopped by La Mirada during the spring evaluation period to check on Luatua and 2015 quarterback Kevin Dillman. Upon further evaluation, the Longhorns decided to throw their name into the mix for Luatua, who holds more than 30 offers.

Luatua is planning to take all of his official visits before making a final decision. He has official trips penciled in for Notre Dame and Alabama. The other three visits are still up for grabs, although Ohio State has been mentioned as a possible stop.

"He has a great family. I think he wants to see some schools before making a decision," Moschetti said. "He doesn't say two words. It's all 'Yes sir' and "No sir.' He's not the type of guy that's going to have five hats and do all that stuff."

Luatua has attended games at UCLA and Southern Cal, but he continues to explore all of his options before trimming his list. The Texas offer came as a bit of a surprise, but Moschetti said Luatua was excited to get the news.

"I talked to him about it today. How do you not get excited about Texas? They have great academics, great athletics," Moschetti said. "It's just a great program. He was fired up about that offer.

"It was a little out of the blue. But if you're a high school football player, you know about Texas. They won a national championship a few years ago playing in the Rose Bowl. They played Michigan in the Rose Bowl in one of the greatest games I've ever seen by a single player in Vince Young. Most kids from California know a little bit about Texas."

A four-star prospect, Luatua is ranked No. 114 nationally. His older brother, Isaac Luatua, signed with Alabama in 2011. Luatua is Texas' first true tight end offer for the 2014 class.


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