It appeared that Hawaii lost one of its prized three-star recruits in the days before National Signing Day, but Anthony Mermea ultimately stuck with his decision to commit for Hawaii.
The three-star defensive lineman from Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta High School originally committed to Hawaii after taking an official visit - for a variety of reasons.
Explained Mermea, “The recruiting process has been crazy. It’s stressful. I kind of got tired of it at the end. When I went out to Hawaii I really enjoyed it out there, it’s a great place to be. Coach Rolo, Coach Smith, they’re all really good dudes. When I asked all the players, they had nothing bad to say about him. They’re all relatable, Coach Rolo is young and he’s a player’s coach. It’s Hawaii of course. I really like the defense they run. The four-man front is where I feel the most comfortable, I can play the three-technique or the one-technique.”
But in the 11th hour, San Diego State offered him a scholarship and with only a few days before Mermea was set to sign, he decided to reconsider his options one more time. Despite the late offer from a school closer to home, he decided Hawaii was where he would go.
“In the final days before signing, I had lots of conversations with coaches, friends, and family trying to figure out what would be the best decision for me moving forward,” Mermea told WSN in an online message. “Ultimately, I knew that no school was a bad option - they were all wonderful. I committed to Hawaii in the beginning and at the end, Hawaii still felt like it was the place I needed to be.”
Mermea also received a blessing from his father, who Anthony said had a problem with flying.
“My dad said he would support me and come visit me also," Mermea said.
“The experience, I can’t wait to go out there and enjoy my four years out there. Who knows, I might end up staying there for the long run.”
On the field, Mermea is a 6-foot-4 and 300-pound defensive lineman that expects to make an impact on the interior line.
“I would say I have quick feet for how big I am,” Mermea said. “My punch is pretty strong and my getoff is what I’d say is my strongest thing. I’m decent with my hands but I need to get better at it, moving them and getting my hands off of anyone I get locked onto. That would be my strong suit. I’m strong and I’m physical. I get hands on people, I’m a hands-on kind of guy.”
In the classroom, Mermea is considering a few different routes.
“I haven’t decided yet, maybe graphic design like designing clothes or business,” Mermea said. “I might try to end up doing both. Business because I want to do accounting to learn how to run a business. From what I’ve gathered most people have great ideas but they don’t know how to run their own business so I would like to do that. And designing clothes because I’m really into fashion.”
What does the potential future fashion mogul think of the uniforms he’ll be donning at UH?
“The rainbow colors - I like them, they’re different,” Mermea said. “I like things that are different and things that make you stand out.”