Trip Report - Po'u Palelei

It's been a crazy time for Po'u Palelei lately. This past weekend, he was helping the west take care of the east in the 2007 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. As soon as he got home to Las Vegas, he went right back on the road - this time to Seattle, Wash. for an official visit to Washington.

"It's been the same, just a lot of phone calls," Palelei told when asked about how hectic life has been for him since the All-American game.

Palelei's player-host on his first official visit was Cody Habben. "He was really cool, really chill," Palelei said of the frosh offensive lineman from Skyline HS in Issaquah. "He's a down-to-earth guy."

So what appealed to Palelei on his visit? "I liked the campus they have and the academics presentation," he said. "Coach (Tyrone) Willingham, when I talked to him it was like talking to the President. He told me what Washington has to offer for me if I go there. He also talked to me about what I have to improve on. He just put Washington out there for me."

Po'u also spent a good deal of time talking with the UW OL Coach, Mike Denbrock. "Coach Denbrock is real cool. He put some players in the NFL, so hopefully I can get to the NFL myself," Palelei said.

Palelei didn't make a decision after his visit to Washington, simply because he has two more official visits he'll be taking in the next three weeks. "I'm going to make my decision on signing day," he added. He will visit Arizona State (1/26) and Texas A&M (2/2) before making his final decision, but Willingham will be by Bishop Gorman High School Tuesday and will also have an in-home visit with Palelei - perhaps to get the U.S. Army All-American to make his decision sooner, rather than later.

He had planned on making his decision public during the bowl game, but decided against doing it after consultation. "My family and coaches were telling me to make the right decision," Palelei said. "And I agreed with them that I needed to go on my visits first and make sure whatever school I choose is the right one for me."

Is he favoring one school over the rest right now? "Washington is number-one," Palelei said. "But I want to see what those other schools have."

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