RECRUITING: Mahelona talks about decision

Junior college defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona expects to make an impact next season at Oklahoma.


JH: Last week you were very close to going public with your decision to come to OU, but you waited a few days. When did you know for sure you wanted to be a Sooner?

JM: "When I got back from Hawaii I was 100 percent positive that I wanted to be a Sooner. I went home and went there my freshman year and I saw everything again. I told you the first time I talked with you that I wanted to experience some change and that what Oklahoma gives me. I want to concentrate on school and football and that is what Oklahoma gives me that great combination of both."

JH: When you visited Arizona State you were torn between the Sun Devils and OU, so what turned your attention back to OU?

JM: "When I went to Arizona State I had a lot of fun as far as partying goes, especially since Arizona State is the number one party school in the nation. When things settled down I just started to think about what was the best thing for me, and when I considered all things OU was the best for me hands down."

JH: You took your last visit to Hawaii, the school where you started your career. Did you have any real interest in Hawaii?

JM: "When it comes to my family they have mixed emotions about Hawaii, because my brother went there and unfortunately got cut. We didn't think he deserved that and then I wasn't happy there my freshman year. When I told them about my interest in Oklahoma they were happy with the Sooners as long as I am happy with the Sooners. They don't know a lot about Oklahoma, but they do know that they are the number one program in the country and as long as I am excited they are excited about it. I basically took a visit to Hawaii to make sure that I didn't want to return home."

JH: How is your broken leg healing?

JM: "I actually started running on it already. I have the boot on my foot and I am going to start training with this guy from Texas here shortly to get back into shape. He is real good and he will get me back into condition before I report to OU on January 15."

JH: What kind of chance do you feel you have to play next year?

JM: "I know for sure that I will be in the rotation, and as far as starting it comes down to how bad I want it. I know I will be in the rotation and I believe I will be starting sooner or later."

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