"West Virginia was the first school to offer me, and I've liked them a lot from the start," defensive lineman Tevita Finau said after committing to WVU on Friday. "I have had a good relationship with them from the beginning."
The laid-back Finau (at least off the field) said he had a good feeling about WVU from the beginning of the recruiting process.
"It was really pretty much everything there," the dominating defender said. "Being able to make a recruiting trip out there really helped. "I was able to see everything in town and on the campus, so that was a big part of it."
Finau also relied heavily on his father (Polu) and mother (Finau) to help him make his decision.
"My parents were a big part of the decision," he explained. "We talked a lot about all of the schools that offered, but when we talked about West Virginia they thought it was the best for me. They decided it was a good place for me to be.
"Distance wasn't a factor [in the decision]", he continued. "I told them how far away it was, but they said that didn't matter. It was the people and the coaches that were more important. So, I'm a Mountaineer!"
Although many observers believe that Finau will slide immediately into a spot along the defensive front, he said that the prospect of immediate playing time wasn't part of his decision-making process.
"Playing time didn't really come into it," Finau said. "I just wanted to be around the kind of coaches and players that are at West Virginia. I know the coaches will take care of us."
Finau will remain at Phoenix College for the spring semester, earn his degree, and then move to West Virginia for the summer session. He is on track to graduate, and anticipates no problems in earning his diploma.
Finau also helped WVU land commitment Courtney Stuart, who was a teammate at West Virginia.
"On the trip out to West Virginia, I made some good friends, but to have Courtney and Brantwon Bowser there too, that's big," Finau said of his fellow Bears that will be on West Virginia's roster this fall. "I talked to Courtney lot about the people, the fans and their loyalty. And the coaches too, and the campus. Pretty much everything I saw, I told him about. I told him how good it was."
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Finau also noted that the last time he talked to teammate Aki Vakalahi, that he was still very interested in West Virginia as well. Finau had not spoken with him since making his decision to attend WVU.