July 21, 2012

Deacs show interest in Hokies commit

Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka, a commitment to Virginia Tech, said his pledge to the Hokies is pretty firm, but said Wake Forest is showing interest.

Motuapuaka, who chose Virginia Tech over scholarship offers from James Madison, Old Dominion, Stanford and Utah, aside from the Hokies has heard the most from Wake since he decided to take his talents to Blacksburg.

"I don't check out the schools," Motuapuaka said. "If they're interested in me I have an open mind about them, but it's not like I'm trying to put myself out there for another school."

The 5-foot-11 and 220-pounder, who is rated as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 33 inside linebacker and the No. 18 overall prospect in Virginia, was in Winston-Salem Friday, July 13 for Wake Forest's seven-on-seven competition.

"[Wake has a] good coaching staff [and] nice campus," Motuapuaka said. "I like how it's not too big, and they have a good football program."

Jonathan Himebauch is recruiting him for the Deacs.

"He always just messages me on Facebook, and he keeps in touch," Motuapuaka said.

It may be a challenge for Himebauch to get Motuapuaka back on campus.

Virginia Tech will more than likely be the only school Motuapuaka visits this fall. He plans to travel to Blacksburg for an official visit sometime in September.

"They [Va. Tech] were the first school to start recruiting me [and] the first school to offer me. They liked me since day one," Motuapuaka said.

"They have very good facilities, a very good coaching staff and a very good defense. I feel like I can excel after college."

Bryan Stinespring is recruiting him for the Hokies.

"We always talk on the phone," Motuapuaka said. "He always keeps in touch."

Motuapuaka said he will play the Whip position at Virginia Tech, which functions similarly to an outside linebacker.

"I think it will be a good fit for me, because I don't think I'm going to get any bigger height-wise," Motuapuaka said.

He said his strengths are his speed and how hard he plays. The Commonwealth product, who did not start playing football till his freshman year, said college coaches like his physicality and love for the game.

Motuapuaka, whose family is from Tonga was born in New Zealand and came to United States when at age four when his father joined the military, said playing rugby when he was growing up made him physical, taught him not be scared and helped him learn how to tackle.

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