High School Sports

Feb 5, 2014 7:35 PM by Bill Halter

Two local football players sign with Pac-12 teams

Lompoc's Ainuu Taua and Mission Prep's Patrick Laird signed National Letters of Intent on college football's national signing day. Taua signed his to UCLA while Laird confirmed his commitment to Cal.

Taua was the KSBY Central Coast player of the year while leading the Braves to the CIF semifinals. He'll receive a full scholarship to play on the defensive line for the Bruins. UCLA, coached by Jim Mora, was 10-3 last season.

Taua was surrounded by his extended family and coaches while he signed his NLI. "It's a lot of relief and I'm ready to count down the days until I'm a part of this team. I just want to be close to my parents and my family" said Taua.

Ainuu had seen the college recruiting process play out with his older brother Vai who played alongside Colin Kaepernick at the University of Nevada. Vai is the 39th leading rusher in NCAA, FBS history.

After rushing for a Central Coast record, 3,117 yards, Patrick Laird will move on to Cal. The running back was recruited as a preferred walk-on with the Golden Bears. Laird picked Cal over Cal Poly. "It was just a great fit academically, first and foremost. And then when I went up and visited, the environment was awesome and definitely a level of competition that I think I could play at eventually" said Laird.

Laird expects to be moved to fullback. The Golden Bears were 1-11 last season.



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