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Monday, March 18, 2013
2014 lineman focused on school, football

By Mason Kelley

As much as Jay-Tee Tiuli (Federal Way, Wash./Federal Way) loves football, it is as important for the junior to succeed in the classroom as it is for him to earn a college scholarship.

“If Yale offered me for education, I would choose Yale over Alabama for football,” Tiuli said.

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman has accomplished enough in the classroom to catch Ivy League attention, while working hard enough on the field to get preliminary Pac-12 interest.

“I’m just getting better in the classroom and on the field,” Tiuli said. “That’s all I’m trying to do.”

Capable of playing on both sides of the ball, Tiuli spent most of his junior year on defense. After suffering minor meniscus and posterior cruciate ligament tears during spring football, Tiuli felt fortunate for every opportunity he received last season.

“When I had my knee injury, I wasn’t even sure if I was playing this year,” he said. “My doctor told me I could play on my knee injury, but I had to play one side, so they had me play defense.”

While he has yet to land a scholarship offer, he is a prospect to pay attention to as he prepares for his senior season, one of several talented recruits in the Federal Way program.

“I say this every time,” said Tiuli when asked about his passion for football. “I hope it’s not corny. I just like the adrenaline. I like the teamwork and, ultimately, you can get your anger out. When you want to battle, you know you’re dominant.”

While Tiuli would prefer to play on the defensive line in college, his goal is earn an opportunity. He wants to continue his career, while continuing to work hard in the classroom. He credits his family, coaches and friends for getting him to this point, and their help continues to push him.