Faletuipapai Still Optimistic
Gardena (Calif.) Serra offensive tackle Emerald Faletuipapai was ecstatic about his team's performance in the second round of playoffs versus Santa Monica (Calif.) "The highlight for me tonight was that we were able to stick together as a team and not worry anything else that was going on off the field. We came out and executed," he said. Faletuipapai had a strong personal game, helping his teammates get the ball into the endzone. "My personal highlight was just taking my defensive end outside so we could give our running backs the chance to make big plays," he said. The 6-foot-7, 350-pound prospect currently holds an offer from Hawaii and is optimistic that a few late offers could be headed his way. "Right now, I'm looking forward to getting some late offers. I wasn't too worried about recruiting this season, I was really focused on playing with my team. I plan on taking visits to Houston and Hawaii in January and I'm going to try to take a few more visits, too," he said. A few Pac-12 schools have been showing him some attention, as well. "I've been hearing from Washington, Washington State, Utah, and Colorado. I'm really interested in Washington. I like Coach [Steve] Sarkisian and the way he runs things. I like Coach [Mike] Leach and Washington State, too," he said. As Faletuipapai and the Cavaliers prepare to face Lompoc (Calif.) in round three of the playoffs, the lineman looks back onto Week 1 of the season and can see an improvement as an overall player. "I think I've most improved as staying composed on the field, being humble, and worrying about the team. I'm a team leader. The key word is listen. Listen to the coaches, listen to your players. On the field, I'm still working on my footwork; footwork can never be perfect. I'm also still trying to bring my weight down," he said.