Football

Football recruiting: Stanford gets commitment from Bay Area’s top prospect

The Bay Area’s top football prospect in the class of 2024 is set to stay close to home for his college career. 

Four-star outside linebacker Naki Tuakoi, a 6-4 and 222-pound edge rusher from Fremont-Oakland who is the region’s highest-ranked recruit according to 247Sports, has committed to Stanford. 

Tuakoi, who was named all-Oakland Athletic League as a junior, officially committed to the Cardinal on June 12.

The Cardinal’s 2024 class is now ranked No. 10 in the country by 247Sports, after Dylan Stephenson, a four-star pass-rusher from Columbus-Miami, committed to Stanford.

“I have been blessed with life-changing opportunities and am grateful for it all,” Tuakoi wrote on his personal Instagram page. “This was not an easy decision but is one that I felt presented me with amazing opportunities both on and off the field.”

The talented defender also held offers from USC, Oregon, Notre Dame, Tennessee and other Power 5 schools. 

Tuakoi is the second high-profile Oakland-area athlete and the third East Bay standout to commit to the program after Troy Taylor succeeded longtime head coach David Shaw. 

Oakland Tech alum and three-star defensive end Omar Staples Jr. was part of Taylor’s first recruiting class, as was Jackson Harris, a receiver from Berkeley who also joined Staples on the all-Bay Area News Group team. 

247Sports has Tuakoi ranked as the 29th-best prospect in the state and the 18th-best edge rusher in the country. 

Stanford struggled through a second consecutive 3-9 season in 2022, with a defense ranked 113th in points allowed. 

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