July 23, 2010

DT, Atimalala pulls in Army offer

As June passed and July coming close to an end, defensive tackle Tala Atimalala was beginning to wonder if his first college offer would ever come. College recruiters were making their way to his Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines High School to visit the defender, but the only reward Atimalala might have received would be the medal for patience.

Well, Atimalala's patience and talent paid off, as the 6-foot-0, 265 tackle reached to GoBlackKnights.com to express his excitement and even relieve that he had his first offer. However, Atimalala made it clear that this wasn't some type of trophy offer, but it has also been the manner in which he has been recruited by the Black Knights and more specifically, Coach Payam Saadat, who is the Co-Defensive Coordinator.

Coach Saadat called me today and left me a message on my house phone," said Atimalala, who wasn't 100% sure what to expect. "So when I got home I called him on his cell phone and he asked me how everything was going. He kept saying to check my email and talk to my parents about it … but he wouldn't tell me what was in the email, but that I would be excited. He said to call him along with my parents, but my mom is away on vacation with my two sisters."

THE EMAIL

So my dad was next to me when I opened it and it was an offer and my dad," shared the elated prospect out of Nevada, whose father serves in the Army and just returned from Iraq. "When we opened it and saw the offer to play football for Army -- attend West Point, my dad broke down and cried."

Prior to today's events, Atimalala had the Black Knights along with Oregon State high on his list. "Army was high on my list as I told you guys before, but now they are very high," he declares. "My dad and I just hugged each other and we called my mom."

"I will never forget this date because my sister who just graduated from high school received an offer from UNLV into their ROTC program. "My mom also broke down and was proud that I received an offer from Army … she says she wants to come home now."

THE CONNECTION

For some prospects it is not just about the school or even the football program, but about with a particular coach and/or the staff as a whole. If Atimalala does become a Black Knight, one factor that can't be discounted is that of Coach Saadat.

"I have about twenty schools that came to my high school to see me," Atimalala said to GBK.com. "But at the end of the school year Coach Saadat was the only one to spend an hour there with me and even asked for my parents to be there. That was special to me and my head coach was a little upset …. He said that he took you out of class for an hour and didn't offer you," shares a laughing Atimalala.

"I can't wait to get up there for my visit … I'm looking to take an official visit in December."

GoBlackKnights.com will continue to follow Tala Atimalala's recruiting throughout the summer and his senior year.


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