Offensive lineman Koli Faaiu picks Utah over Michigan State, others

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Mel Tucker and his staff have already shown they’re willing to recruit nationally, and the Spartans continued that push in their pursuit of a highly rated offensive lineman from Washington.

However, even with the relationship Tucker and offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic established with 6-foot-4, 315-pound Koli Faaiu of Bothell  (Wash.) North Creek, Faaiu opted to stay closer to home and announced his commitment to Utah on Wednesday.

Koli Faaiu of Bothell (Wash.) North Creek, verbally committed to Utah on Wednesday night. Michigan State was in his final five.

Faaiu, the No. 40 guard in the nation according to the 247Sports composite, chose Utah over his other five finalists that included Michigan State, Kansas, Boise State and Washington State. The three-star prospect is ranked the 14th-best player in the state of Washington.

Tucker and Kapilovic began recruiting Faaiu when they were at Colorado and continued that relationship once Tucker was named Michigan State’s head coach in February.

“With Michigan State, I’ve had a relationship with the linemen coach (Chris Kapilovic) ever since he was at Colorado,” Faaiu recently told 247Sports. “I love Michigan State’s football program and they produce linemen in the NFL.”

With COVID-19 shutting down recruiting visits, Faaiu did not visit 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.

After the decommittment of defensive back Gabe Nealy from Miami, Michigan State’s 2021 class stands at 11 players. Faaiu would have been the second offensive lineman in the class, joining East Lansing’s Ethan Boyd.

Twitter: @mattcharboneau