Berrien Springs traveled to Cassopolis on Friday night and a game that featured everything with big plays, lead changes and a last minute touchdown. The Shamrocks trailed by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but stormed back to tie the game until the Rangers struck back with a long passing strike in the very last moments of the game to outlast the comeback 28-21.
Although, the Rangers had success through the air offensively, the running game was relatively quiet in large part to Shamrock senior two-way lineman and Wolverine commit, Phil Paea. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder faced double teams and not many plays up the middle, but he still created pressure on the quarterback and got the ball very well.
Paea held offers from Notre Dame, Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona, BYU and Michigan State amongst others before pledging to the Wolverines and a big reason why is from the relationships he’s forged with this staff and comfortability he’s built there, especially with director of player personnel Tony Tuioti and defensive line coach Greg Mattison.
“When you're Polynesian, it’s just like a clique when you meet up with each other, especially when you met someone from a small place like Michigan and you don’t see a lot of Polynesians everywhere, so when you see them, then it’s automatic family. You bring them in and show them around a little bit and that is actually what he did with me. (Coach Tuioti) brought me in and made me feel very comfortable.”
“It’s great (with my relationship with Coach Mattison and his wife). First time going up there, I met Coach Mattison and I just felt at home. That’s what all players look for when they are choosing their school that they are going to be at the next four years a home like place. I definitely found that out that at Michigan with Coach Mattison and Ann Mattison making it really comfortable for me and my family.”
Watch the full video interview for much more including his highlights