Trip Report - Paipai Falemalu

SEATTLE - It was supposed to be a fact-finding tour for Paipai Falemalu and his Mother Robyn when they decided to officially visit Washington. He knew he still had at least two more schools to visit before making a final decision. But during his UW visit, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound LB from Kahuku, Hawai'i had thoughts - but they weren't enough to cause Falemalu to deviate from his plan.

"At times (I thought about committing), but I knew I still needed to go home and talk to my family, my Dad and stuff," Falemalu told Sunday.

"It was nice," Robyn added. "It was cold. It was a nice visit. Nice facilities, nice program, nice coaches."

It was Mom's first chance to be with her son on an official visit. Falemalu officially visited California back in December. "They are pretty much the same, no major differences," Falemalu said when asked to compare the two visits.

Mom might visit Oregon State next weekend. "It is a long trip, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices to take advantage of opportunities," she said.

Paipai's initial interest in the Huskies came during his first-ever trip to Seattle - to a UW football camp during his 10th grade.

"The people were nice," he said of his visit. "The campus and facilities are all top of the line. I liked the stadium, the stadium is really nice. The stadium tour they gave was really good."

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Kalani Aldrich were Paipai's hosts, and he mentioned that talking to the two native islanders was the highlight of his visit. "They said that they were homesick at first, but then they worked their way through it," he said of their experiences so far at UW. "They said that it was not easy, but they managed.

"They are good people. I'll always remember them."

And the coaches? "They told me that the town is a good place and that they have a successful program going and how they have really high academics," Falemalu said of his meetings with Tyrone Willingham and Chris Tormey. The Huskies are recruiting Falemalu as a SAM."

Falemalu rated his UW visit an '8 or 9', but added that there wasn't anything he could think of that would have bumped the rating to a 10.

After his Oregon State trip, Falemalu will drive south to Honolulu to officially visit Hawai'i before making his final choice.

So what is Falemalu looking for in a college? "Football, of course - and the education," he said. "And whether or not I can live there."

And could he see himself living at either of the two places he's visited up to this point? "To a certain extent," he added. "Being from Hawai'i, going to the mainland would be new. That would be an advantage Hawai'i would have other the others. It's home."

Falemalu has scholarship offers from Washington, Oregon State, California, UNLV, Utah and BYU, but told Scout that he has basically narrowed things down to the four schools he's visiting.

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