While Drew burst onto the national scene with his epic performance against the Jackrabbits in 2001, Hypolite did it on just as big a stage, the CIF Division I finals, in leading the Cubs to a stunning 21-17 CIF Championship victory this past season, and in the process, threw his name into the ring as one of the elite running backs in the Class of 2005.
"It was pretty amazing, getting all the way to the finals, then winning it. When we lost to Servite, everyone wrote us off. But we knew how good we could be. It gave us confidence that we could win. Now, we have to come back next year and play as a team every minute," said Hypolite.
On the heels of that win, Hypolite became a recognizable name, and face, in Southern California. He visited UCLA's practices before the Silicon Valley Bowl, seeing some familiar faces, and some new ones.
"I know Kevin Harbour and Matt Ware (both Loyola alums). Kevin is a good friend of mine. When I was there, I met the coaches. I am very impressed with the staff there. They are moving in the right direction with the program," said Hypolite. "The UCLA staff has been nothing but a class act during this process. They have treated me like I was family, not just a football player, but like a person. I appreciate that."
Hypolite is being recruited by running back coach Eric Bieniemy, a similar runner in his college days, in that he was a powerful back. "Coach Bieniemy is a real great guy. Coach (Karl) Dorrell, is a stern guy, but he is close with his players. He is a lot like Coach (Steve) Grady at Loyola," said Hypolite.
Early on in the process, Hypolite holds the Bruins in high esteem, as they do him. "UCLA is real high on me. I like them a lot too. Oklahoma is another school I am hearing from. I would also like to hear from Florida State and LSU a little more. But right now, it's really just those four."
The Bruins have several things working in their favor as well. "My mom went to UCLA, and it's close to home. Plus, it's nice to go somewhere where I know the players. I'll talk with Kevin and get his perspective on things, what the of-season program is like, what the school is like. He can help me a bit with recruiting."
So what is his timetable for a decision, considering the last two Bruins to come from Loyola committed in February. "I'm really in no hurry. I don't have any offers yet, but maybe if the right offer came, I could commit. If I do what I need to do on the field, recruiting will take care of itself. All I care about right now is going back-to-back. A lot of players at the history of Loyola put in the work before I was even there. We want to carry the Loyola name for all of the former Loyola players," said Hypolite.
Thrust into more of a ball-carrying role against Hart, Hypolite teamed with fellow Cub Trason Bragg to form a nice one-two punch. "The first few games, I was more of a blocking back, clearing up holes, pass protecting. Then I started carrying the ball a little more," said Hypolite. "The thing I was most proud of was my yards-per-carry, which was around 6-7 yards a carry."
On the season, Hypolite carried the ball 110 times for 669 yards and four touchdowns, including 12 carries for 89 yards against Long Beach Poly in the finals.
Hypolite could also return to the defensive side of the ball in 2004, a place where he saw limited action a season ago. "I like to play defensive end, but in our defense, I am more of an outside linebacker who stands up at the line of scrimmage. But I'll play anywhere I can help my team win," said Hypolite.
His plans for the summer are up in the air, though he does have initial plans to attend both California Nike Camps.