Junior college defensive tackle Danielson Auelua committed to the Boise State football program Tuesday, addressing a significant need for the Broncos.
Auelua (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) has played the past two seasons at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College. He is from Alpine, Utah.
He wasn’t recruited by four-year schools out of high school.
“I’d say I was soft in high school,” he said. “Something kind of clicked when I went to junior college.”
Auelua finished this season with 39 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles in nine games. He committed to Utah State in May but reconsidered after Boise State courted him for months.
He visited Boise for the Air Force game, decommitted from Utah State last week and committed to Boise State on Tuesday.
“I started getting a little more love from Boise than Utah State,” Auelua said. “Utah State kind of died off. ... I got to do my trip to Boise State and everything just clicked. It fit everything I wanted in a college. The D-line coach has a ton of experience. I’d love to be coached by Steve Caldwell.”
Auelua has three years to play two seasons. He can’t join the team until next summer because he still has schoolwork to finish.
The Broncos lose five scholarship defensive tackles after this season. Only one returning tackle — Elliot Hoyte — will be in the junior or senior classes next year.
“You’ve got to go where you’re needed and that definitely fell more into Boise State,” Auelua said. “... Knowing I can come in and get a chance to compete right away was huge.”
2016 RECRUITING CLASS
– QB Micah Wilson, 6-3, 205, Lincoln Christian School (Tulsa, Okla.)
– DL Chase Hatada, 6-3, 260, Rocklin (Calif.) High
– CB Robert Lewis, 5-10, 170, Augustus Hawkins High (Los Angeles)
– OL Kole Bailey, 6-5, 285, Twin Falls High
– RB Robert Mahone, 6-0, 200, Prosper (Texas) High
– WR Julian Carter, 6-2, 175, Saguaro High (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
– OL Ezra Cleveland, 6-6, 270, Bethel High (Spanaway, Wash.)
– CB Reid Harrison-Ducros, 5-11, 175, Heritage High (Colleyville, Texas)
– LB/S Desmond Williams, 6-0, 190, Centennial High (Corona, Calif.)
– LB Tyson Maeva, 6-0, 225, Cathedral Catholic High (San Diego)
– RB Damarea Crockett, 5-11, 211, Little Rock (Ark.) Christian
– TE Nick Crabtree, 6-6, 250, Huntington Beach (Calif.) High
– LB Ali'i Niumatalolo, 6-2, 225, Broadneck HS (Annapolis, Md.)
– DE Derriyon Shaw, 6-4, 225, Legacy High (Las Vegas)
– K/P Joel Velazquez, 6-1, 225, Trabuco Hills High (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
– WR Cedrick Wilson Jr., 6-3, 190, Coffeyville CC (Memphis, Tenn.)
– DT Danielson Auelua, 6-2, 285, Mesa CC (Alpine, Utah)
Note: Boise State is believed to have three more commitments who haven’t publicly announced their decisions.