Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

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prep recruiting:

Liberty’s Sam Tai favoring UCLA, will officially announce Wednesday

Sam Tai

Liberty High defensive end Sam Tai talks about the 2010 high school football season.

Liberty High senior defensive lineman Sam Tai has narrowed his college choices down to UCLA and Arkansas, and will announce Wednesday at the school where he'll play college football.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Tai, who has double-digit scholarship offers, took an unofficial recruiting trip to UCLA last weekend. Two weeks ago, he visited Arkansas.

Tai said Monday he weighed the decision with coaches and family members, and is leaning toward committing to UCLA. He plans on enrolling in college early and taking part in spring practice, meaning the decision must come before the February national signing day.

UCLA didn’t offer Tai a scholarship until late October, but he had been on the Bruins' radar since attending their camp this summer. An assistant coach for UCLA drove to Southern Nevada for Liberty's game with Foothill three weeks ago, and Tai had a scholarship offer the following day.

Tai, who is rated by Rivals.com as a two-star prospect on its evaluating scale of five stars, is coveted by recruiters for his raw ability. He played quarterback last year as a junior and is still coming into his own as a defender. Also, he injured his foot in late August during a scrimmage and sat out for more than a month.

Tai is on track to graduate high school a semester early.

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