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Trieu: Strength a defining trait for Michigan State OL target Koli Faaiu

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan State has six different states and two different countries represented in their 2020 recruiting class already, and now the Spartans hope to add Washington to the list.

Bothell (Wash.) North Creek offensive lineman Koli Faaiu recently put the Spartans in his top five along with Boise State, Kansas, Utah and Washington State. MSU is the farthest away from home of that list, but he has a long-time relationship with the staff.

Spartans offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic offered Faaiu in the fall when he was at Colorado. Faaiu said in the winter that the Buffaloes were one of his top two schools, but that changed once Kapilovic, head coach Mel Tucker, and other members of the staff came to Michigan State.

Koli Faaiu

“They were recruiting him very hard at Colorado,” 247Sports analyst Brandon Huffman said.

“With Michigan State, I’ve had a relationship with the linemen coach (Chris Kapilovic) ever since he was at Colorado,” Faaiu said. “I love Michigan State’s football program and they produce linemen in the NFL."

With COVID-19 shutting down recruiting visits, he has not been to East Lansing, but did conduct a virtual visit with Michigan State. Virtual visits have been effective in building this Spartan class as several members have not yet been to campus in-person either.

More: Trieu: Mountainous Devon Manuel an example of Michigan State's new recruiting philosophies

At 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, Faaiu has college-ready size and strength. He emerged early on the camp circuit and his description fits that of a Big Ten lineman.

“He is one of the strongest players in the region,” Huffman said. “I saw him do 32 reps at 225 in February at his linemen training Night of Champions.  His strength is what sets him apart but he also has plus-athleticism. He’s a powerful run blocker, with the ability to drive his defender back with ease, tremendous at pulling and getting to his block while also being a plus-pass blocker. He plays with a nice edge to his game and is nasty, with flexibility and good feet. He can play guard or center, with guard the spot he’s most comfortable. “

Utah has been a constant with Faaiu. When he had Colorado high on his list, the Utes were the other program he named.

Faaiu has not set a decision date yet but said he hopes to make a commitment within the next few weeks.

Pennsylvania pass-catcher offered

Michigan State has offered class of 2022 wide receiver Kevin Thomas from Harverford (Pa.).

Thomas was offered by wide receivers coach Courtney Hawkins. A physical 6-foot-3, 185-pound prospect, Thomas has also been offered by Nebraska, Syracuse, West Virginia and more.

He has not been to Michigan State in the past but hopes to set up a visit once the shutdown ends.

Four-star linebacker offered

Las Vegas Bishop Gorman linebacker Cyrus Moss was offered by Michigan State.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Moss is already rated a four-star prospect in the 2022 class.

Defensive line coach Ron Burton is recruiting Moss for the Spartans.

He has additional offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, USC and more.

More information

Koli Faaiu profile 

Kevin Thomas profile 

Cyrus Moss profile 

Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.