Vailopa Getting BCS Interest

Not many college football fans stay up late to watch the University of Hawaii, let alone pay attention to Hawaiian high school football. With the young play of St. Louis High junior offensive guard Louis Vailopa, he showing coaches that there's a lot of physical strength on the islands.

MADISON - When Bret Bielema hired Nevada linebackers coach Andy Buh, the seventh-year Wisconsin head coach felt it prudent to allow the long-time West Coast assistant to keep recruiting the Pacific, utilizing his long-time connection to try and find West Coast kids that could fit Wisconsin's philosophy.

Who knew those connections would lead the Badgers to the Hawaiian Islands? After missing out on four-star defensive tackle and Clemson commit Scott Pagano, Buh has started monitoring the 6-3, 295- pound St. Louis High junior offensive guard Louis Vailopa.

"The first game went really good," Vailopa told Badger Nation. "We won 46-0, but it wasn't really a physical game because we passed the whole game. I did good, but it wasn't the best because all we did was pass block."

Focusing on the recruiting side of things, Vailopa picked up an early offer from in-state Hawaii during the Warriors' camp, but that doesn't mean he isn't interested in any other schools.

"I have been getting just mail, like a lot of mail, from Colorado, Washington State and Wisconsin," Vailopa said. "I'm open to everyone that is willing to give me a chance. Hopefully after this season, I'll have my choices down."

Many of prospects on the island stay to play for Hawaii with all of its roots and traditions, but Vailopa doesn't have that same mind set. In his eyes, Vailopa is looking to explore his options possibly on the main land.

"I wouldn't really say that distance would be a factor for me," he said. "I know it wouldn't. I lived in New Zealand for a couple of months and I really liked it. I didn't feel homesick and that is the only place I have been to off the island. I just want to experience off-the-island things and I really don't want to stay at Hawaii. The Hawaii offer is not really a dream offer for me."

One of the top schools that he is eager to hear more from and learn about is Wisconsin.

"I am not really familiar with them because I have never been there," Vailopa said. "I have watched them and I would love to visit it there whenever I can, which will probably come during a break like winter break.

"It would really mean a lot on getting an offer from a top school like Wisconsin and I wouldn't really mind going there. I would actually love to go there. I really think that Wisconsin would be a great fit because the style of football is similar to us. I also like the fact that it's a top D-1 school and I feel capable of playing D-1 football with Wisconsin."

Lots of people don't get to see the style of play on the island compared to main land football, but Vailopa feels that Hawaiian football has the upper hand on one aspect of the game.

" I would say it is a lot more physical than main land teams," he said. "I mean the speed on the main land is much faster, but I would say that we have decent speed and we are more physical than main land high school teams. I guess you could say that it is more like Samoan football."

Getting more familiar with Vailopa's game, he compares it to his head coach, Leo Goeas. Graduating from Kamehameha schools in Honolulu, Goeas was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 1990 NFL Draft and went on to play eight years in the league with the Chargers, Rams and Ravens.

"I have learned a lot from him and coming from my freshmen year to now, I would say that I have really learned a lot," Vailopa said. "My skill development from freshmen year to now my junior year has really gone up."

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