Fred Ulu-Perry is ranked as the top center in the country, but he is often a forgotten man when talking about the giants from Hawaii. Breiden Fehoko and the Punahou boys, Canton Kaumatule and Semisi Uluave, often headline the Hawaii talk. Yet, the Saint Louis offensive tackle may be having the strongest year on the Islands.
After going through game tape where Ulu-Perry went head to head with Kaumatule and Mika Tafua, Ulu-Perry really looked the part. Many believe he is undersized as an interior linemen, yet the four-star Saint Louis product has dominated against strong competition playing left and right tackle. Kaumatule is a legit 6-7 285 pounds right now and Ulu-Perry stone-walled him the majority of the game. Tafua is a quick and twitchy rush end with a lot of length and Ulu-Perry was able to take him out of the game (both times they played).
No one has ever questioned the UCLA commits strength, he is built like a fire hydrant and repped 225 pounds 26 times as a junior. He packs a nasty punch, which is followed by a leg drive that is not possible to stop. On tape, it looks like defensive ends and linebackers are on roller skates as Ulu-Perry drives them back 10+ yards snap after snap. The schools that passed on Ulu-Perry didn't question his strength though, that is at a blue-chip level. Many have questioned his size and some have questioned his speed.
The tape doesn't lie. Ulu-Perry may not be a millimeter above 6-2, but that isn't really an issue. Perennial Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday was 6-2 if he was standing uphill and might have weighed 300 pounds if he was soaking wet. Being a good interior linemen is all about pad level, quick & fluid feet, violent hands, and a high football IQ. Ulu-Perry will always be one of the smartest players on the field, his pad level is good, his feet are phenomenal this year, and he uses his hands to perfection. The power generated by Ulu-Perry's initial punch is truly off the charts. He gets defenders off balance and then latches on and drives.
Ulu-Perry has a basketball background and you can see it when he plays football. When he pulls or gets to the second level, he runs in space like he is 200 pounds instead of 295 pounds. He is surprisingly fluid and has a few clips of him hawking down corners and safeties in the open field and bowling them over.
From a recruiting standpoint Ulu-Perry is a soft verbal to UCLA, but according to him, Bruin fans shouldn't worry.
"I am 110 percent committed to UCLA," Ulu-Perry claimed. "With that being said, I plan to take all my visits to see what is out there. I am heading out to Texas Tech in two weeks for the Oklahoma game. After that, I will be heading to Oregon State to see the Civil War, against Oregon. I am also going to check out Colorado and Texas A&M in December."
110% is a pretty good number if you are UCLA, but I'm sure Bruin fans would prefer the stout center/guard prospect would stay out in Hawaii or revisit Westwood.