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East linebacker Christian Folau commits to Stanford
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If the football team manages to dirty up the floors at East High School with mud or grass, it's Christian Folau who is the first person to take to the janitorial closet and clean up the mess. He's the first player on the field to break down practice and he's the player who sets up cones for various football drills.

As a sophomore on the East High School football team, Folau was voted as a team captain by his peers.

"The level of maturity this young man has is off the charts," said East head coach Brandon Matich.

On Monday night, Folau made the call of his life, phoning Stanford head coach David Shaw informing him he wanted to be part of the Cardinal football program. A 6-foot-1, 251 pound middle linebacker, Folau was a rising prospect who recently ran a 4.6 40 and was being recruited by Utah and UCLA — among other schools — before eventually choosing the school he'd always wanted to play for, Stanford.

"I got a call from ESPN today and said anybody who commits and gets to go to Stanford is special and everybody is unique," Matich said. "This kid is going to be somebody who Stanford is going to proud of for a long time."

Folau was recruited by Stanford assistant Lance Anderson, a former Utah State assistant.

The East linebacker enters his junior year with the Leopards as one of the best athletes on a team stacked with Division 1 talent.

Folau is the fourth East High School player to commit to play Division 1 football, following defensive end Korey Rush (Arizona State), running back Ula Tolutau (Wisconsin) and tight end Joe Tukuafu (Utah).

"He's an unbelievable talent," Matich said. "He has long arms and exceptional hands. He's an aggressive player and a true Mike linebacker."

This is the second linebacker the Cardinal has pulled from the realm of Region 6 in the last year as former Woods Cross linebacker Sean Barton signed his National Letter of Intent with Stanford before departing on his LDS Church mission to Africa in the spring.

Matich said he and Folau recently had a conversation as the pair were dropping off Matich's children at a daycare facility and the coach asked his star what his plans were, if he wanted to accumulate continual offers or if he wanted to nip the recruiting in the bud and commit to the university he's dreamt of attending his whole life.

"He said, 'Coach, I think I still want to go to Stanford,'" Matich explained. "He's got his whole life planned out. He's just beyond his years."

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani

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