UCLA lands commitment from 2023 Nevada defensive tackle
The Bruins’ first commitment since announcing a move to the Big Ten comes along the line of scrimmage. Poetic.
AJ Fuimaono, a 3-star defensive tackle from Henderson (Nev.) Liberty, announced on Tuesday he intends to begin his college career in Westwood. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive lineman chose the Bruins over interest from Hawaii and UNLV.
— AJ Fuimaono (@gg_ajf95) July 26, 2022
Fuimaono took an official visit to see UCLA back in May. He took his time before coming to his decision, but told 247Sports’ Blair Angulo that the prospect of playing against Big Ten competition during his Bruin career was a mitigating factor.
“For me, something that really stood out is that they are going to the Big Ten to play with the big boys,” he said, via 247Sports. “That was huge and that’s something I want to be a part of.”
A future Polynesian Bowl participant, Fuimaono rates as a 3-star in the industry-generated 247 Composite. He’s viewed as the 82nd-best defensive lineman in the 2023 class and the seventh-best prospect from the state of Nevada. UCLA has been on him for quite some time, the first FBS program to extend an offer all the way back in October of 2021.
Chip Kelly and the staff are trusting their own eyes here, but Fuimaono looks like a player with some upside. Angulo wrote the following on his game:
Thick frame with decent length and good body composition. Evenly distributed weight, with room to add mass and size. A powerful and quick-twitch defensive tackle who shows tenacity in pursuit. Flashes a quick get-off and attacks gaps with a purpose. Instantly puts blockers on their heels. Doesn’t need to bull rush to get into the backfield and displays terrific hand usage to keep blockers at a distance. Makes a ton of powerful plays, but also has some finesse to his game. Carries some positional versatility. Could continue to improve as a run stopper, particularly in shedding blocks and finishing plays. Tends to overpursue at times, so needs to be more cognizant of maintaining leverage and gap integrity.
His pledge gives the Bruins their sixth known commitment in the Class of 2023. You can view his highlight tape below, via Hudl: