Tepa Talks on UCLA Commitment

Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive end Iuta Tepa talks about his official visit to UCLA and about picking the Bruins after being committed to Hawaii...

Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive end Iuta Tepa (6-2, 240) knew before his visit to UCLA that he was going to be committing to the Bruins, but he waited until Saturday night to make the announcement.

"We went to dinner at Coach (Rick) Neuheisel's house and it was a beautiful sight there in Bel Air. We got to see the sun set and it was pretty nice. Then I had a talk with Coach Neuheisel and made the commitment. I was just waiting for the right time and I wanted to take my time. My family was all with me, my mom, my dad and my brother were all there. They were real excited, even though they knew it was coming. So it was cool," said Tepa.

Tepa's announcement to Neuheisel was greeted warmly by the Bruin staff.

"Coach Neuheisel went in the other room and told Coach (Reggie) Moore and Coach (Todd) Howard and all the coaches came in and congratulated me and welcomed me. Coach Neuheisel was real happy I was there and when I committed, he was really happy," said Tepa.

Tepa committed to Hawaii in the fall before his senior year really took off, then he became a hot commodity with Pac-10 schools. Once UCLA offered, though, Tepa's SoCal ties started to strengthen.

But he wanted to wait until his visit to make the announcement.

"I just wanted to be patient about it," said Tepa. "It felt real good and a huge relief to let that out and let it be known."

Tepa said the visit, and the experience, were highlights.

"We took a tour of the campus and it was nice," said Tepa. "We talked to the academic coaches, then we went to see a basketball game, that was nice and pretty exciting."

Tepa was hosted by fellow Jackrabbit Terrence Austin.

"TA was my host and he's a real cool guy. He was a good host and he showed me around and made me feel real comfortable," said Tepa. "My freshman year, he was still playing at Poly, so I got to see him play then."

Tepa said that his current Poly teammate, and fellow UCLA commit, Stanjarivus McKay was excited about continuing their career together.

"He's happy and we might be roommates there," said Tepa.

Tepa, though, said Coach (Todd) Howard may have been the happiest, landing the future defensive lineman.

"Coach Howard was real excited," said Tepa. "He's seen what I could do on video and he's going to make me a better player, a better pass rusher. He kept telling me how excited he is that I'm going to be a Bruin."


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