La Mirada (Paramount, CA)
Measurables: 6-3, 241
Accolades: Under Armour All-American, No. 38 overall prospect by Tom Lemming, second-team Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team
Impressive Offers: Alabama, USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, Texas
Projected Position: Tight End
Quick Take: Luatua adds another key recruit at the tight end position, a group that had a bit of a wildcard thrown in when Troy Niklas decided to test the NFL waters after three seasons in South Bend. Luatua is more of a traditional tight end compared to the rest of the depth chart, complementing Nic Weishar’s skill-set nicely.
Luatua has already gained 15 pounds from his high school season, beginning a body transformation that’ll have to continue if he wants to play as an attached blocker. But offers from USC, UCLA, and a run from Nick Saban at Alabama gives you an idea of the upside for Luatua, who cuts a physical presence on the football field.
What he means to Irish: Luatua is a big recruit for the Irish, a much-needed victory after a long battle to reel in one of Southern California’s best players. He’ll have a shot to contribute early, especially as an attached blocker, with both Niklas and Alex Welch departing.
Obligatory YouTube highlight clip: Here’s Luatua’s UND.com Signing Day video: