Ulu-Perry Making His Presence Felt

BEAVERTON, Ore. - Fred Ulu-Perry was on a mission; to continue to fantastic legacy of Hawaii players that have participated in The Opening. Isaac Savaiinaea, DeForest Buckner and Luke Kaumatule have all taken part the first three years of this marquee prep event at Nike World Headquarters.

2014 saw two more prospects travel over 2500 miles to compete - Saint Louis OL Ulu-Perry and Farrington defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko.

“That was my purpose to go to California, to get MVP and hopefully get an Opening invite, which I did,” the 6-2.5, 295-pound Ulu-Perry said when asked about qualifying for The Opening after taking home MVP honors at the SoCal Nike Football Training Camp. “It’s truly a blessing from God and I thank him for that. It meant a lot to me and especially my family. It means a lot to Hawaii - there’s only two boys from Hawaii here, so it meant a lot.

“From the islands, they just support us. They just want us to do good and represent the home island well and do them proud. I take a lot of o-line pride. Breiden takes a lot of pride on the d-line. Hawaii produces a lot of linemen.

“Ever since I got my Opening invite, I’ve been training mentally, physically and spiritually. I knew if I came in here and did my job, and even go the extra mile, I could get a couple more offers or become a five-star. I don’t want to backtrack.”

Tuesday the linemen started working out against each other. What did Ulu-Perry think of the competition? “There’s a lot of good guys here,” he said. “On my side of the ball there’s a lot of good guys here competing. I’m not surprised. This is the elite level. There’s a lot of big boys for sure on the defensive line, a lot of bull rushers and rip guys. It’s something I don’t see back home…there’s a lot of good guys there, but these guys are big and they can move. That’s what I wanted to face.”

Ulu-Perry worked out inside, primarily at center. He’s a four-star prospect there, rated by Scout.com. “That’s for the future,” he said when asked about the position. “That’s what colleges want me to play. I play tackle back home at St. Louis. I’m still learning the techniques, and snapping especially. I’ve got to work on that and I have to get my mind right. The center is always the leader of the o-line, so I have to represent well.”

Fred admitted that the moment he held a football to snap it wasn’t a natural sensation. “It was weird,” Ulu-Perry said, matter-of-factly. “I felt very awkward. I did it in eighth grade, so it’s going to take a lot of time to get used to going back to the center position.”

Ulu-Perry also took part in SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, Quickness) testing. He did everything but the 40-yard dash, so he didn’t end up with a final SPARQ number. He did, however, run a 4.7 shuttle, jumped 26.8 inches in the vertical jump, and threw 43 feet for the power ball. The powerfully-build Ulu-Perry up the 185-pound bench 36 times.

“That was my first time benching 185 (pounds),” admitted Ulu-Perry. In Hawaii it’s common for the strongest players to do reps at 225 pounds, much like what’s done at the NFL Draft Combine. “It was still a challenge because you have to get high reps. I know Breiden had 42 and the other Tongan boy Maea (Teuhema) got 32.”

Ulu-Perry caught us up on recruiting. “I have 12 offers right now,” he said. “My recent offers are UCLA, Oregon State, and Washington.

He also gave us a glimpse into how he’s viewing certain teams. “I love UCLA and Oregon State because of their individual coaches,” said Ulu-Perry. “I love coach Kavanaugh at Oregon State and coach Klemm at UCLA. I love our relationship and their style of coaching. I like Texas Tech too. Kansas, Washington State…those are some of the schools I’m looking at…Washington Huskies too.”

Obviously when Texas Tech is brought up, there’s a natural connection. Fehoko is already verbally committed to the Red Raiders. “They told me all about Lubbock, Texas,” Ulu-Perry said of Fehoko’s pitch to join him in the Lone Star State. “Breiden told me it’s desert, but it’s all business. I don’t care about all these big-time cities and stuff. There’s just one reason to go there, and it’s strictly business. He explained to me about all the dorms and it’s pretty cool. I can live off-campus and get paid every month. That would be cool, and it would even be cooler dorming with Breiden if I went there. I want to take a visit. I haven’t been to the campus but Breiden has told me all about it, and his older brothers too.”

Ulu-Perry was excited about his latest three offers, but what about the Washington Huskies? “I know they are dominant with the o-line and d-line,” he said. “I don’t know too much about the school. I know it rains a lot there, or that’s what I’ve heard. I’ve got to do more research on Washington. One of their GA’s came down and I worked with him (at the Maximum Exposure camp) and he was pretty cool. He told me all about the school. I look forward to watching them play against Hawaii this upcoming season. I’ll be there and I’ll be evaluating them.”

How about official visits? “I for sure want to visit Oregon State, UCLA, Texas Tech,” Ulu-Perry said. “The other two, I’m waiting on…I want to get offers from USC and Oregon. I would take those visits.”

Even though it sounds like Ulu-Perry is starting to get a strong idea of a short list, he insists he has no real favorites as of right now. “All the colleges are all even,” he said. “UCLA, Oregon State, Texas Tech - those are the schools I’m looking at, but I don’t have top schools yet.”

He added that all of the schools like him at center, and that’s where they are recruiting him.

Fred Ulu-Perry Scout.com Profile

NOTE: With Washington traveling to Hawaii at the end of August, we had to take a minute to ask Ulu-Perry about his favorite cheap island eats. “For sure Rainbows (Rainbow Drive-In),” he said. “Then there’s Zippy’s. There’s L&L (Hawaiian Barbecue). There’s the shrimp trucks on the Kahuku side. There’s this garlic chicken place I always eat, it’s only a breakfast place called Mitsu Ken. That’s the best garlic chicken in Hawaii right now. Sam Choy’s too.”

And when it comes to desert, is it Leonard’s or Championship malasadas? “Hmmm..Leonard’s,” Ulu-Perry said with a big laugh. “But I don’t pig out too much. I’ve maybe had six or seven at the most, I don’t want to get too slow!”

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