Much has been made about the secondary tandem at Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) High School of cornerback Chris Hawkins and safety Tahaan Goodman--both members of the ESPN 150--but opponents looking to attack the Cougars underneath or on the ground likely won't find the going any easier, as twin terrors A.J. Latu and Viliami Latu will be waiting.
The linebackers tied for the team lead with 70 tackles last season and look forward to anchoring what will likely be a standout defensive unit this fall. Viliami, a 6-foot-2, 244-pound middle linebacker, and A.J., a 6-foot-2, 207-pound outside linebacker, said they are looking forward to hitting the field for their senior seasons and trying to live up to the hype surrounding Rancho Cucamonga's defense.
"It's really exciting," Viliami said. "We should be one of the top defenses in California, but we have to prove to everybody what we can do."
The brothers have already proven themselves to many college coaches. A.J. holds 10 offers, including a recent one from Arizona State, while Viliami has collected eight. While many of them have come from the same schools, there are some programs who have offered one, but not the other. That will definitely be a factor when it comes time for the twins to select a school.
"People already know we're planning on going to the same school," Viliami said. "Schools that have offered know we're a package deal. If you're recruiting one of us, you have to recruit us both."
The offer from the Sun Devils was A.J.'s fourth from a Pac-12 school, but he said the excitement hasn't worn off.
"I know a lot about the Sun Devils," he said. "I grew up going to their games. I'm really honored. That's my No. 10 offer, but it could be my No. 1 choice.
Both Latu brothers admit they are in the very early stages of the recruiting process and will take official visits before beginning to narrow down a final list. They don't yet have schools in mind for those visits, but said one trip will definitely happen during their bye week this season.
Viliami said the two are very open minded right now and are still researching schools. A.J. added that his fondness for the Pac-12 conference could come into play, but it's still too early to make any predictions.
"I would like to stay in the area, close to home," he said. "But I'm going to use my visits to see what I like. I'm looking forward to that."