Favorite hat is the Black and White Trucker
Haloti was born in Inglewood, California, his parents having emigrated from Tonga to the United States in the early 1970s. He was named after his uncle, Haloti Moala-Liava'a, who was a middle linebacker for the Utah Utes (1984–1988). He attended Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah and was a three-year starter on the defensive line. As a senior, he recorded over 200 tackles and led his team to the state quarterfinals. He was named the 2001 Utah Gatorade Player of the Year. He played in the 2002 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He also played rugby in high school, and helped lead the Highland Rugby Club to the National Rugby Championship.
He eventually signed a national letter of intent to play for the Oregon Ducks football team of the University of Oregon. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on a punt coverage play in 2003. He totaled 107 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, and 6.5 sacks total in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. He was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2004, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2005. Following his senior season in 2005, he was recognized as the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus first-team All-American, Oregon's first in 43 years. he also earned praise as a dangerous special teams player, blocking 7 kicks during his 3-year career at Oregon.
In the 2006 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected Haloti. He was selected in the first round (12th overall). It was the first time in Ravens franchise history they used a first round pick on a defensive lineman. Haloti became the highest selected defensive lineman from the current Pac-12 conference since Andre Carter in 2001.