RECRUITING: DT not worried about competition at OU

Junior college all-american defenive tackle Jesse Mahelona says Oklahoma among his four favorites


Jesse is one of those rare blue chip junior college players who is a must get for any team in the country. When you also consider that many teams need immediate help at defensive tackle and the fact that teams can't find enoughdefensive tackles, then Mahelona becomes even more of a hot property.

Mahelona played his high school football in Hawaii at Kealakleha High. He signed with the University of Hawaii out of high school, but wound up gray-shirting and then failed to pick up his academics by half a unit.

"Orange Coast has been a home away from home for me," said Mahelona. "I live with about 600 other guys in a dorm and I have a lot of brothers here with me that help me not miss home."

Mahelona started a year ago as a freshman and finished the year with 77 tackles, nine tackles for loss and seven sacks to earn all-conference and all-region honors. Mahelona can bench 470 pounds, squats 550 and he has a vertical of 24-inches.

Mahelona has been offered by Oregon, Arizona State, Oklahoma, UCLA, Washington, Temple and Arizona.

"As far as choosing a school I want to trip first," said Mahelona. "I am fortunate to visit Oklahoma first, because they are at the top of my list. I like Oklahoma because of the change factor. I like the change factor in my life and Oklahoma would be a lot different than anything that I am used to. Then you add the fact that Oklahoma plays some of the best football in the country and the whole program is just first class.

"My top four schools have to be Oklahoma, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington. I am looking for a school where I believe I can fit in. I will just have to let God move me and see where he feels the right place for me. I would say academics, environment and last but not least, football are the three things that I will look for."

Mahelona says depth of a program at defensive tackle won't be a factor.

"I am not trying to sound cocky or anything, but I say bring on your biggest, strongest and fastest guy," said Mahelona. "I am not going to set on the bench and that is all there is to it, so I am not going to run from competition."

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