Wait pays off for Koniseti

The Sun Devils have been tracking Kipeli Koniseti all season, and last weekend they brought him in for an official visit. The under recruited quarterback from Sacramento's Grant High School was elated to visit Tempe but was also disappointed that he didn't receive a scholarship offer from the Sun Devils on his trip.

The Arizona State staff was crunching the scholarship numbers after Koniseti left town on Sunday, and luckily for the signal caller a few days later it ultimately resulted in a scholarship offer from running backs coach Jamie Christian and a subsequent signing of a Letter of Intent today.

"I had faith in coach Christian," said the 6-3 235 Kipeli Koniseti. "But when I didn't get offered on Monday I did start to worry. And then we talked on Tuesday afternoon and he offered me. I was very happy he did.

"It was real crazy trying to get all the paperwork for to sign and fax today, but it all worked out."

The versatile athlete played both quarterback and linebacker for the Pacers. When playing under center he led his squad to a 14-0 record and an Open Division State championship as Grant edged Long Peach Poly 25-20. In that contest Koniseti threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.

Overall in his senior campaign, the first team all-state selection completed 80-of-144 passes (55.6 pct.) for 1,366 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed 83 times for 777 yards (9.4 avg.) and nine scores. He played sparingly at linebacker tallying 12 tackles.

"I most likely am going to start on defense playing outside linebacker or safety," Koniseti stated. "I prefer playing the SAM linebacker position."

Grant High School's head coach Mike Alberghini naturally praised Koniseti for his quarterbacking skills, especially down the stretch. Yet, he strongly believed that he's just as well suited to play linebacker.

"He has the size, the speed (reported a 4.7 time), the physical and mental toughness and the character," Alberghini said. "If he spent more time playing the position he would get better. He's very athletic and he'll be 18 only in five months so he could still grow."

Nevada is the only other school that offered Koniseti, and San Jose State was showing some interest as well. Koniseti knew that the Sun Devils, much like other schools recruiting him, had their reservations about his grades and chances of qualifying.

"Arizona State believed I could get it done," he said, "and I know I can get a higher score on my test and bring up my GPA. If I have to go to summer school I will. I'm just happy that Arizona State gave me a chance and I'm gonna work hard so I can get in.

"Once I qualify I know that they're going to lay out a plan for me to graduate, and that's very important to me."

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