The playoffs have kicked off in Hawaii, and as expected island powerhouse, Punahou is looking to repeat as state champs. Scout has Punahou ranked ninth in the country, and Semisi Uluave is a big part of that. Uluave is a four-star guard prospect at the next level, but plays all over the offensive line for his team.
"We have a big game coming up against Saint Louis," Uluave explained. "If we win that, we win the divison championship and get two byes heading into the state wide tournament. We really beat up Saint Louis earlier this year, but they were still figuring out a lot of things. They are much different now than they were a few months ago. We will be tested against a great opponent."
If Punahou gets the win and is awarded the double-bye, Uluave plans to take his first official visit. Four-star defensive end, Canton Kaumatule is also planning to join him on the trip.
"If we get that W, knock on wood, I will be taking a trip out to Oregon," Uluave said. "The Ducks take on Stanford, which should be a great football game. I am really interested in the game day experience in Eugene and to see what Oregon offers. There are a lot of guys from Hawaii playing for Oregon, so it will be cool to reunite with some old friends and teammates. I know Canton is really fired up about Oregon. He is close to DeForest Bucker. Honestly, if I had to guess, Canton will be a Duck. He talks with DeForest a lot, seems to be leaning that way."
Uluave seems to be leaning in a different direction than his teammate and right hand man.
"As you know, I really like UCLA right now," Uluave stated. "I feel like it is a great blend of academics and football. I love the coaches out there and the direction of the program. I feel like UCLA will set me up for long-term success, well after my football career. I have also set up my visit with the Bruins. I will be out there the last weekend in November, to see them play Stanford, as well. I am excited to return out to UCLA, I really like it out there."
Uluave is also planning to check out Texas Tech. Nothing is set in stone, but the plan is to make a trip sometime in January.
"I am liking UCLA a lot," Uluave reiterated. "But, that doesn't mean I'm not open to Oregon or Tech. That would be stupid on my part. I am going to give all three schools a good and honest look. If Oregon or Texas Tech appeal to me more than UCLA after taking my trips, that's where I'll go. You have to keep an open mind in this process."
After watching Punahou film tonight, there is one thing I am certain of... that team could play competitively in any division or conference in this country. Led by Uluave on the offensive line, they are so physical and tough up front, it's hard to picture them losing. It's also hard to believe somebody is going to top them in the playoffs. Uluave's versatility, strength, and smarts make him one of the top linemen out West. Whether it's UCLA, Oregon, or Texas Tech, somebody is going to land a good one, come Signing Day.