BOOM! Leni Toailoa Commits To UCLA Football


Sep 19, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins safety Jaleel Wadood (2) and defensive back Randall Goforth (3) and defensive back Adarius Pickett (6) warm up before the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA added its first pure defensive back commitment of the 2016 football recruiting class, as 3-star safety Leni Toailoa announced his commitment to the Bruins.

On the heels of picking up the commitment of 3-star athlete Marquis Lawson (Los Angeles, CA/Crenshaw) last week, the Bruins have now secured another member of the 2016 class who is likely to be a college defensive back as well, as 3-star safety Leni Toailoa (Rialto, CA/Carter) flipped from San Jose State to UCLA on Monday afternoon.

"I Am Very Happy To Announce That I Have Decommited From Sjsu And Will Be Attending Ucla"

Leni Toailoa is the younger brother of fellow 2016 recruit and UCLA commit Lokeni Toailoa, who is rated as the top inside linebacker in the West for this recruiting class. But Leni’s commitment is not just some add-on in a package deal with his more highly-touted brother; it is very much a big deal in its own right. 

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Leni was considered a mid-major recruit heading into the spring, which is why he committed to San Jose State on the same night Lokeni chose UCLA in March, but Leni was very impressive on the camp and 7-on-7 circuit in the offseason as his profile as a recruit grew. In late June, Leni finally got the offer he had been waiting for, as UCLA offered him a scholarship after his impressive showing at UCLA’s summer camp garnered him defensive back MVP honors at the camp.

RELATED: BOOM! Marquis Lawson Commits To UCLA Football

Interestingly, one reason that Leni’s recruitment has been far more of a slow burn than his brother’s has been his age: Leni’s natural class would be the Class of 2017, but his father moved him up a grade so that he and Lokeni (who is older by one year) could be peers in school and on the football field. As a result, Leni has been consistently playing with and against players older and more physically mature than himself, which served to dim his star a bit for a while. But now that Leni’s body is catching up with those of his older peers, recruiters have begun to seen his skills increasingly stand out, as the likes of Arizona StateOregon State, and Washington also offered him during a summer in which he received quite a bit of acclaim for his offseason performances and flashes of upside.

Leni told Edward Lewis of Bruin Sports Report that he plans to enroll early alongside his brother at UCLA, which would mean he would be joining the Bruins as a young 17-year-old. Operating under the safe assumption that Leni redshirts, he would have two full sets of spring and summer workouts under UCLA strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi to further develop his still-evolving body before he hits the field for the Bruins in the fall of 2017.

Welcome to Westwood, Leni!

Next: The BYU vs UCLA Football Position Group Report Card

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