Mateaki hosts the 'honorary polynesian'

If there's one player that's completely relieved to be over the recruiting process, it's Honolulu (Hawaii) Iolani defensive end Donny Mateaki. The 6-7, 265-pound Mateaki told a little bit about things post-commit and also about his foray into the world of prep basketball.

"Yeah, it's a big load off my shoulders." Donny said. "Before, it was all I could think about. I kept asking myself about what I wanted to do and how did I want to do it and the coaches kept calling all the time. Now that I've committed, it cut back on the phone calls a lot."

Mateaki made sure that all of the other schools he was looking at got the news first-hand that he was going to Washington. "I talked to each coach after I decided and told them what I was doing. They all asked me if I was really sure that's where I wanted to go and to call them if I ever decided to change my mind." Those schools were Oregon, Colorado and Nebraska.

Has he thought about it? "No," he said. "Some of the schools kept writing me letters telling me why I shouldn't go to Washington, but there's no question in my mind where I'm going."

The Mateaki family had a chance yesterday to meet Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel and Donny said the meeting went well. "It was great to see him," he said. "It was a real good visit. My parents like him a lot. We talked about signing day and also what to do if the other schools tried to call me. If the coaches still tried to get me to go to their school."

Donny also got to see Neuheisel's humorous side. "Coach Neuheisel came to my school and hung out with me during the day," he said. "I introduced him to my friends and he told them that he was an honorary polynesian. (laughs) My friends laughed too because they call themselves honorary polynesians too."

While Mateaki waits for signing day, he's working off his football girth on the hardwood. "I'm playing basketball, but I can only go for about 5 minutes at a time because I'm not in basketball shape," he said with a chuckle. "We run a very fast style of offense. Basketball is a lot more finesse. When I'm down in the post, the other guys just go after me, so I just try to find my open guys."

Is Donny the enforcer down low? The question doesn't even have to be asked. "Of course," Donny said. "But I never foul out. They always take me out before I can foul out." (laughs)

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