Raider on a crusade

If there's a more imposing lineman on the islands this year, I'd like to see 'em. <b>Donny Mateaki</b> stands 6'6" and weighs 258 pounds and plays both ways for the Iolani Raiders, but is known throughout Hawaii for his prowess on the defensive side of the ball.

"It's just my combination of strength and quickness," Donny told Dawgman.com earlier this week, as if his style could be simply summed up in eight words. When you are an second- team all-ILH selection as a 10th grader and a second-team all-state selection as a junior, it could take pages to do justice to what Mateaki is capable of doing on a football field.

However, it's his extraordinary lifting abilities that will grab your attention in a hurry. Donny benches 405 pounds and while he doesn't have a true max squat, he has squatted 450 pounds 5 times. With a 4.7 40 and 28-inch vertical jump also to his credit, it's easy to see why college from throughout the mainland continue to flock to Iolani.

"Basically the Pac-10, minus Oregon State and Stanford, Colordao, Utah, Wisconsin, San Diego State, U-H (Hawaii), and Nebraska," Donny said, when listing off the schools that have paying him the most attention right now.

Three teams, however, have Mateaki especially interested in what they have to offer.

Washington - "They've got a good thing goin' on right now. And all my friends that have gone there tell me that it's a great school and that they've had a good experience there."

Wisconsin - "I like being on my own and it's pretty far away. I can also get a very good education there too."

Colorado - "I like Coach Cabral, my recruiting coach. But I've never really been in cold weather before. I don't know what that would be like." (laughs)

Donny has offers from USC, Oregon, Colorado, San Diego State, Cal, U-H (Hawaii), Utah, Wisconsin and Arizona. No offer from the Huskies? "Washington has offered an official trip, but they have never sent an official offer through the mail," he said. "I've talked to Coach Williams and also the Head Coach (Neuheisel). He says that they are really interested in me and that they want me to come there so that I can get a chance to see what it's really like."

Another interested spectator in the Donny Mateaki sweepstakes is current Dawg Willie Kava, an ex-teammate of Donny's. "Whenever he tries to call me, I'm never home," said Donny. "I haven't talked to him since he left. I know he's really busy with football right now. We are really close. At Iolani, there aren't many Polynesians there, so we all stick pretty close together."

While he admits that he's not even close to making a decision at this point, he has thought about two of the official trips he plans on taking. "Well, I've told my parents that the two trips I have to take for sure are Washington and USC," Mateaki said. "I'll figure out the rest after the season. I want to make a decision right after I take all my trips."

With a 4-0 record right now, Mateaki is planning to give all the Iolani fans and college coaches in attendance for his games something worth talking about. "The competition hasn't been all that strong so far, but we play St. Louis this weekend. That will be a big game."

Big game, indeed. We will be in touch with Donny for an update.

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