DAN SPITZ'S nine-game suspension from the NCAA is just the latest chapter in Washington State's…
BREAKING: Wulff lands ready-to-play Poly DT
"I'm going to Washington State," said Lapuaho, who has 4-to-play-3 for the Cougs. "The first guy I met there was Jody Sears. Normally when I talk to coaches, it's only about business. But when I met him and the coaching staff, they were all down to earth people.
"Coach Sears, he's great. And oh, Paul Wulff -- he seems like a really nice guy but I know I'll love him even more when he starts getting after me and coaching me. Paul, he made a great impression on me."
WULFF, ALONG WITH area recruiter Sears and the Cougs have, with Lapuaho's commitment, also further strengthened WSU's growing Polynesian connection.
Bernard Wolfgramm, Sekope Kaufusi, Jamal Atofau, Jordan Pu'u-Robinson, along with future Cougar Chester Sua, plus walk-on Corey Laufasa, are all of Polynesian descent.
"Bernard took care of me when I was there. When you see another Poly from another place, it's like an automatic brotherhood. He showed me a lot of love and took care of me," said Lapuaho.
AND ALSO GIVE AN assist to WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos -- he knocked Al and his parents' socks off when they were in Pullman this past week on an unofficial visit.
"My parents loved it," said Lapuaho. "They're already planning for the games and when to come over...we met Moos, and he's a great guy. He's doing above and beyond service, that's what I got from him. He said he didn't have to be there, he was retired, but he wants to be here. And that impressed me.
"It's a nice college town -- a safe environment, a good environment. Plus the town, I'm not used to having such support from the whole town and faculty members. I'm not used to that. But I loved it."
AS A TRUE freshman last season at Snow, Lapuaho played around 270 pounds and was credited with 22 tackles, including 2 for loss and a sack. The scoop on Lapuaho is that he's a technician with an excellent motor and a very high ceiling.
While the sophomore-to-be is now tipping the scales at 295, he said he can still pack more muscle onto his frame in the coming years. But he figures to immediately bolster WSU's d-line this year, right off the jump. And speaking to his quickness when he played at 270 this past season, there's this -- he might even play some d-end for the Cougs.
"I have plenty of room to (add weight). They wanted me at d-end, I just talked to one of the coaches about that..they said I had great 'get-off'," said Lapuaho. "But I think I might get moved over to d-tackle because I'm 295 right now."
That's not an unfamiliar spot -- Lapuaho has some solid bloodlines, his father Robert was a defensive tackle at BYU in the '80s. Meanwhile, his brother, Ului Lapuaho, is an incoming offensive lineman (6-7, 285) for the 2011 class at BYU.
"Washington State said they want to get people who can lead the team, I guess that they felt I was a good prospect for that. They watched film and talked to coaches about me, and I guess there was a lot of positive feedback."
WSU LOOKS TO have landed a versatile, quick d-tackle to their 2010 class that few, if any, knew was available.
Lapuaho, whose full name is Avalisi Tipasa Lapuaho, (he goes by Al), came out of Granger High in West Valley City, Utah -- at about 250 pounds. He received some early college attention but the big boys, with Lapuaho only around 250 then, and with it also appearing he needed to go to junior college, mostly backed off.
But he's now at 295, and WSU and Sears discovered his high school needed to add a class to his transcript, said Lapuaho. And that made him eligible now, pending paperwork completion with the NCAA which should be completed well in advance of the beginning of Wazzu's fall camp, on Aug. 8.
"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have been qualified or known I could be qualified... I'm thankful for Washington State. I come from a big family and WSU has given me an opportunity to be a good example for my family," said Lapuaho.
Wulff earlier, after signing day, brought in another d-lineman, Steven Hoffart (6-4, 270). Hoffart, who caught the eye of Kevin Kooyman due to his work ethic in Kooyman's Week 2 diary on CF.C, is a versatile player and where he lines up won't be determined until WSU gets into their fall camp.
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