Uluave Eyes Two Pac-12 Visits
Sitting at 5-0 with a top ranking to boot, Punahou is on track to repeat as Hawaii state champions after winning their second Division I title last season over Mililani. Currently averaging over 50 points a game and holding opponents to seven, the Buff n' Blue have been firing on all cylinders and four-star offensive guard Semisi Uluave has been pleased with the effort. “It’s going our way so far,” he said. “We’re currently undefeated. We’re number one in the state. We’re just trying to play it one game at a time and not focus on the big picture yet until we get there." Of course, all of that success comes with a target on their backs and plenty of hungry competition that Punahou has been able to hold off somewhat easily to this point. But, according to Uluave, the team remains humble as the season progresses. “We acknowledge that we have the target on our back,” he said. “But we still train like underdogs. We don’t think everything is given to us. We’re not going to come out to the field and just think we’re going to win.” Individually, Uluave has played everywhere on the line this season and believes he's grown as a leader and someone the team can rely on as an all-knowing database on the field. “I feel like I’ve grown very mature this year,” he said. “My junior season, I had the seniors to rely on so I wasn’t the type of player that was as down to earth on the plays. This year, because I have a chance at playing center, guard and tackle, left and right, I know all the plays for every position on the O-Line. Especially being a senior now, I feel like I’ve become the leader on the offensive line." A hot commodity on the recruiting market, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound prospect narrowed his top five programs down to three back in August: Oregon, UCLA and Texas Tech. While he said no clear leader has been established, he's starting to focus in a little more on two of the schools. "I really respect each coaching staff," he said. "But I feel more comfortable with UCLA and Oregon. Texas Tech, it was a really long stretch for me to keep them in my top three because they had only contacted me this past spring.” Uluave explained that the reason the Pac-12 programs are standing out is because of his connections with the coaching staffs. “I feel there’s a better relationship between Oregon and UCLA,” he said. “I’ve remained in contact with (Oregon) Coach Joe Bernardi and Coach [Steve] Greatwood and I’ve created a good relationship with them. But I also have a great relationship with (UCLA Offensive Line Coach) Adrian Klemm at UCLA as well.” Both UCLA and Oregon could receive in-season visits from Uluave if the schedules line up. “We don’t have set dates,” he said. “We have rough dates that we’re pretty sure we can go to. I know for Oregon I’m planning — and it’s still not for certain — that I’ll be coming up November 1 for the Stanford game. “I’m keeping in touch with the UCLA coaches. I think for now, sometime in the third week of November or so. I’m still talking about it with my parents.” Despite the business of the regular season for both college coaches and high school recruits, Uluave said that the staffs have done their best to remain in contact with him as much as possible and vice versa. “Whenever they get the chance to call me, they do,” he said. “Whenever I get a chance to message them on Facebook or Twitter, I’ll take it.”
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