Four-star 2024 Linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa Calls Potentially Playing for Ohio State the “Opportunity of a Lifetime” As He Inches Closer to a Decision

By Garrick Hodge on June 26, 2023 at 6:05 pm
Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa

Ohio State put a full-court press on one of its top remaining linebacker targets over the weekend.

Four-star 2024 California linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa nearly had the undivided attention of Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and graduate assistant coach James Laurinaitis as the pair tried to sell him on joining the Buckeyes’ recruiting class during his official visit to Columbus. The experience left a lasting impression on the St. John Bosco product, who now has a lot to think about over the next few weeks.

“It was great, I think from Friday to Sunday, we had a great time,” Viliamu-Asa told Eleven Warriors. “I learned a lot about Ohio State and that there’s an opportunity of a lifetime that I have to attend Ohio State and be a part of something special.” 

J.T. Tuimoloau was Viliamu-Asa’s player host, a move that was done by design since the OSU defensive end could relate with Viliamu-Asa about moving across the country to play for the Buckeyes.  

“I talked with him and got his perspective on leaving the West Coast and being far from home,” Viliamu-Asa said. “It was very informative and my parents got a good opportunity to talk with his dad and spend time with each other and get their questions answered from a parent that has a kid there right now.” 

A little more than two years ago, Viliamu-Asa was the first recruit OSU ever offered in the 2024 recruiting class. There’s been a ton of turnover to the Buckeyes’ defensive coaching staff in that time, but Day has consistently let Viliamu-Asa know how much he believes in the West Coast linebacker’s ability.  

“Both coach Day and coach Knowles were emphasizing how much they want me to be a part of this,” Viliamu-Asa said. “Coach Day has been recruiting me for a long time, and for a long time he’s wanted me to be a Buckeye.” 

Knowles met with Viliamu-Asa on his visit, specifically talking to the linebacker prospect about the different ways he’d be used in Ohio State’s defensive scheme. With his skill set, there’s no shortage of ways he could be deployed.

“His scheme is really interesting, he’s really a defensive mastermind,” Viliamu-Asa said of Knowles. “He has a lot of great ideas. What he touched on was a guy like me with my versatility can do a lot of different things so I can add versatility to the defense by playing Mike or Will or playing in a 3-3 stack defense or rushing off the edge. I can impact the game in a lot of various ways, whether that’s in coverage or playing in the box.” 

While Viliamu-Asa was building a relationship with OSU’s new defensive staff over the past year, he was also getting to know Laurinaitis, who started recruiting Viliamu-Asa last year when he was on the Notre Dame coaching staff. Laurinaitis and Viliamu-Asa spent a good chunk of time catching up over the weekend.  

“I had a relationship with coach Laurinaitis when he was at Notre Dame,” Viliamu-Asa said. “So our relationship goes back a little bit, but being at Ohio State and coming through that program, he was showing me around and showing everything that it has to offer. Being able to be coached by a guy that’s been through it and has gone places that I’m trying to go, along with learning from one of the best to ever come through the program is a unique opportunity.” 

Coaches weren’t the only ones recruiting Viliamu-Asa, as OSU’s two linebacker commits Payton Pierce and Garrett Stover were also on visits to Columbus and made their best efforts to peer recruit him. Pierce himself told Eleven Warriors he had “a feeling” Viliamu-Asa would eventually be a Buckeye. 

“I spent a lot of time with Payton and some time with Garrett. But it was good getting a feel for guys I could be around for the next phase of my life. I got a good feel for them,” Viliamu-Asa said. “They’re great people and great players. I got to pick their brain a little bit about why they picked Ohio State and they said once you know, they know. They emphasized to me this class is something special and they want me to be a part of it.” 

Viliamu-Asa said he doesn’t envision making a decision this week, but is “for sure” aiming to commit within the next couple of weeks. He’ll pick from a final three of OSU, Notre Dame and USC. 

“It’s a really tough choice, they’re all great universities,” Viliamu-Asa said. “They all have great things to offer, it’s going to be tough to tell two of them no. But I’m not stressing, I’m just trusting the process and trusting God will lead me in the right direction.”

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