D-End Considers More Than Hawaii

Defensive end Iuta Tepa committed to Hawaii early on, but the 6-2, 238-pound defensive end prospect from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly is now getting attention from the Pac-10, including UCLA, and he's considering his options...

When Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive end Iuta Tepa received two scholarship offers early this season -- from Colorado State and Hawaii – he decided to jump on the offer from the Warriors.

"It was the best offer I had and I didn't think I would get any more offers, so I committed to Hawaii," said Tepa.

But as Tepa's highlight film has made the rounds, more and more programs have gotten interested, and now Tepa has gone from a lightly-recruited defensive end to the owner of a half-dozen offers, including four from the Pac-10.

"Oregon State, Oregon and UCLA offered me in the last couple weeks and Washington State had offered me before that," said Tepa. "Basically, my tape was late getting out and what happened was my offers started coming in late September. I didn't know if I'd get more so I wanted to make sure I committed somewhere."

Tepa said he remains a commit to Hawaii, but he's going to now go through the recruiting process and take some official visits, potentially all five, before he solidifies his choice.

"I'm going to wait until I take the visits, so that I could get a feel for the campus and the programs. I don't have any set up yet, but I'm planning to take all five of them now," said Tepa.

Being lightly recruited heading in your senior year isn't uncommon at Poly, where they have traditionally strong senior classes replenishing the roster each season. Former teammate Herman Davidson, who didn't have any offers when his senior season started, finished with double-digit offers before signing with North Carolina last February.

"Herm and Vaughn (Telemaque) just told me to play ball and it would work out, so that's what I'm doing," said Tepa.

Tepa said that his top school remains Hawaii, but that he's going to be considering Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA.

"I went up to the Stanford game against UCLA and I got to go in and meet the coaches and I met Terrence Austin and after that we just relaxed in there. Coach (Todd) Howard and Coach (DeWayne) Walker were who I was talking to," said Tepa.

Tepa plays defensive end for the Jackrabbits and, at 6-2 and 238, says he wants to stay there by adding a little more weight, but not sacrificing his explosiveness.

"I prefer playing defensive end, I don't really want to move inside," said Tepa.

So far, Tepa has 44 tackles and nine sacks for the unbeaten Jackrabbits, the top-ranked team in Southern California.

Academically, Tepa has a 3.3 GPA and he'll be taking the SAT again later this fall.

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