Prep football: Olympus defensive end Cameron Latu chooses Alabama over Utah, others

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Olympus tight end Cameron Latu announces he's headed to Alabama during a news conference at Olympus High School in Salt Lake City Friday August 4, 2017. His mother Jill Argust at left, and brother Nate Latu at right.

Holladay • Four-star recruit Cameron Latu tapped his mother, Jill Argust, on the shoulder as she was doing laundry last Saturday.

She turned and he looked at her intently.

“Mom,” he said, “I’ve decided I’m going to commit.”

Argust held in her excitement until she was sure he was confident in his decision.

“I was just on cloud 9 ever since,” she said.

Latu, a star defensive end at Olympus High, announced his commitment to the University of Alabama in a raucous lecture hall at the school Friday.

There were no gimmicks to his announcement.

The 6-foot-5, 236-pound rising senior stood up from a table in front of the room, flanked by Argust and his brother, Nate Latu. Five hats lay before them, each bearing the logo of one of Cameron’s top choices: Nebraska, Alabama, Utah, USC and Washington.

Cameron said his thank-yous, picked out the Crimson Tide hat and fitted it to his head.

“The fact that I’ve been over there three times,” Latu said, “and I just felt really good with the [co-defensive coordinator] there, Tosh Lupoi, and I just feel like he’ll develop me into a great player. I think that me being over there would make my dreams come true, and I think it’s a great fit for me.”

This was Latu’s second college commitment. BYU was the first college to present him with an offer, and the high schooler accepted it.

Once his stock began to rise and more coaches took notice of him, Latu realized he may have jumped the gun.

“I only decommitted because I wasn’t 100 percent with them,” he said. “I started getting more offers, and so I was just saying maybe I should go explore some of my other options.”

Even more offers poured in after he decommitted from BYU in January. Latu logged 65 tackles and a team-high nine sacks as a junior last season.

In his decommitment tweet, he said it was the hardest decision he ever had made. So what about this one?

“This one compares because I didn’t even know I was going to get all these offers,” Latu said. “It’s just a crazy experience, and I feel like me committing is just putting all these bricks off my shoulders. I feel like I can focus on my senior year and focus on my classes and football season.”

He had grown tired of coaches constantly blowing up his phone. Of course, the texts and calls won’t stop completely. Latu can’t sign a National Letter of Intent for months. He is free to change his mind again until he does.

He said the coaches at Utah, for one, made it clear they would keep pursuing him even if he committed elsewhere. They’ll be hard-pressed to make a better pitch than Alabama, though.

The Tide has logged double-digit wins in each of the past nine seasons, claiming five SEC and four national titles in that time.

The Tide’s 35-31 loss to Clemson in the national title game was their lone defeat under coach Nick Saban last season.

“He feels at home there,” Argust said about her son. “And he really did. He was very comfortable. He already has a great rapport with a lot of the players.”

Plus, Argust works for an airline, so she can travel easily. She’ll be able to make it for the next big moments in her son’s football career.