Passing Grade for Palelei?

For the last several weeks the Sun Devil nation has been anxiously waiting to see if offensive lineman Po'u Palelei has cleared the academic hurdle and qualified to play for ASU. Devils Digest went straight to the source and talked to the Bishop Gorman (Nev.) standout about this topic.

The 6-5 335 Po'u Palelei will be in the Valley of the Sun this fall, but won't be quite yet a student at Arizona State. "Because of my grades and my test score I'm gonna greyshirt and take classes at Mesa Community College," he said. "I'm taking three classes there and as long as I get at least all ‘B's' in those courses and get a good score on my test, I'll be on scholarship at ASU in the spring." He added that he plans to arrive in town the first part of August.

The 2006 U.S. Army All-American, who's ranked by as the ninth best offensive guard in the nation, was considered the best offensive lineman prospect out of the five signees in that position in ASU's 2007 class. He selected the Sun Devils over Washington and Texas A&M. ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson went as far as saying that there was a chance that Palelei could avoid redshirting his freshman year and bolster the depth among the team's front five.

Palelei is naturally disappointed about not being on the Tempe campus this fall, but sounded hopeful for the future. "I'm gonna work hard, pass those classes and my test and join the team in the spring," he stated.

The lineman is one of three ASU incoming freshmen that have been working diligently the last month to academically qualify. The other two players, cornerback Omar Bolden (improving his GPA) and defensive end James Brooks (achieving a qualifying SAT score), appear according to recent reports to have a good chance to be cleared to join the team in the fall. However, there has been no official word as to whether they received the necessary stamp of approval from the NCAA's clearing house.

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