While awaiting the final decision of quarterback Braxton Burmeister, the Arizona Wildcats lost another member of their 2017 recruiting class.
Three-star defensive tackle Austin Faoliu of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California, de-committed from Arizona on Wednesday afternoon.
Faoliu took to Twitter to make the announcement.
“First of all, I would like to take the time to give a special thanks to all the coaches at the University of Arizona for recruiting me and giving me a chance to play for them,” Faoliu wrote. “I truly appreciate everything they have done for me and believing in me to get business done on and off the field.
“After a lot of praying for guidance from the man above and a long conversation with my parents, I have decided to open up my recruiting process again and de-commit from the University of Arizona. This decision was very tough, but I feel this is the best way for me to seek my options.”
Faoliu initially committed to Arizona in late September. At the time, he had offers from three Mountain West schools: Colorado State, Hawaii and Nevada. Over the course of his senior year, additional offers came in from Power Five schools, including Washington State.
The Cougars’ defensive line coach, former UA player and coach Joe Salave’a, reportedly is close to leaving WSU for Oregon. The Ducks recently offered Burmeister, who is said to be torn between Eugene and Tucson.
Defensive line is a major position of need for the Wildcats, who lacked bulk at that position last year. The UA has one 2017 defensive lineman already in place: 320-pound junior-college transfer Sione Taufahema, one of five early enrollees. Burmeister, if he chooses to come, would make six.
The only other interior defensive lineman currently committed to Arizona is Kurtis Brown of Bakersfield, California.
Faoliu said he would announce his new commitment at the inaugural Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 21.