Laiatu Latu
UCLA Bruins – No. 15
PositionDefensive end
Class
Redshirt
Redshirt
Junior
MajorSociology
Personal information
Born: (2000-12-31) December 31, 2000 (age 23)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight267 lb (121 kg)
Career history
College
Bowl games
High schoolJesuit (Sacramento)
Career highlights and awards

Laiatu Latu (born December 31, 2000) is an American college football defensive end. He played college football for the Washington Huskies before transferring to the UCLA Bruins. With the Bruins in 2023, Latu was named a unanimous All-American and won the Ted Hendricks and Lombardi Awards in addition to several other honors.

Early life and high school

Latu grew up in Sacramento, California, and attended Jesuit High School.[1][2] He was named first team All-California after recording 94 total tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks as a senior.[3] Latu was rated a four-star recruit and committed to play college football at Washington over offers from UCLA and USC.[4]

College career

Latu began his college career with the Washington Huskies.[5] He played in 12 games as a freshman and finished the season with 16 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.[6] Latu suffered a neck injury during fall practices entering his sophomore year. Following the season, Washington's team doctors deemed that the injury had not recovered enough and that it would be too dangerous for Latu to continue playing football. Huskies' head coach Jimmy Lake announced that Latu had retired at the start of spring practices in 2021.[7] He remained enrolled at the University of Washington for the first semester of his junior year before entering the NCAA transfer portal to find a program where he could continue his college football career.[8]

Latu ultimately transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles.[9] He was cleared to play by team physicians near the end on the Bruins' spring practices.[10] Latu was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week for Week 4 after recording three sacks and forcing a fumble against Colorado.[11]

References

  1. ^ Davidson, Joe (August 14, 2018). "How Jesuit's two most-recruited players ever are handling 'the real and the BS'". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  2. ^ Jude, Adam (December 17, 2018). "After 'amazing' weekend visit to UW, Huskies await decision from 4-star defensive end Laiatu Latu". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  3. ^ Kirschman, Lauren (September 13, 2019). "Freshman LB Laiatu Latu makes early impact for UW". Tacoma News Tribune. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  4. ^ Jude, Adam (December 18, 2018). "Four-star edge rusher Laiatu Latu announces commitment to UW Huskies". The Seattle Times. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  5. ^ "UCLA LB Laiatu Latu sheds the rust just in time to face former team". Los Angeles Daily News. September 24, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  6. ^ "Witness the wreckage: whether it's rugby or football, UW Huskies' Laiatu Latu speaks a universal language". The Seattle Times. October 22, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  7. ^ "UW Huskies notes: outside linebacker Laiatu Latu forced to medically retire due to neck injury". The Seattle Times. April 7, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  8. ^ Raley, Dan (September 26, 2022). "UW Informed Laiatu Latu He Would Never Play Again — It Wasn't True". SI.com. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  9. ^ "Washington LB Laiatu Latu says he'll make comeback at UCLA". Los Angeles Times. December 31, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  10. ^ "UCLA gives rise to the comeback of Laiatu Latu". Los Angeles Times. September 14, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  11. ^ Connon, Sam (September 26, 2022). "Pac-12 Week 4 Awards: Laiatu Latu Wins Defensive Player of the Week". SI.com. Retrieved October 13, 2022.