Like many high school seniors who are looking for that right college that will set them up for future successes, Lealao – a 6-5, 270-pound defensive end from Sacramento (CA) Capital Christian – is looking for a school with a good environment, facilities, coaches and a chance to be competitive.
More importantly, he's looking for a school that can give him a good education and a great business sense.
"I want to start a clothing line and I have always had the idea, but I want to get my business plan set and then by the time I graduate from college it will be up and running," Lealao told Badger Nation. "I would like to start appealing to teens and kids among my age group. It'll be like a prep look with a hint of me in it, but stuff like flannels, jean jackets/vest, jeans and etc. It will be like Banana Republic, but more causal type dressing with my taste added. That is my dream."
Lealao is unique from a high school standpoint: an elite athlete who is humble and focused. Breaking out of his small market after recording 87 tackles, six sacks and seven blocked kicks, the 6-5, 270-pound Lealao is a four-star athlete, the No.6 defensive end in the country by Fox Sports Next and has a clear vision his recruitment.
Originally wanting to go up to USC growing up, Lealao grew closer to Stanford as he got older because of the school's academic prestige. When head coach David Shaw offered, the Cardinal became the leader. "Stanford is still my number one school until someone can top them," Lealao said.
Over the next several weeks, Lealao is going to find out if another school can top Stanford. Hoping to utilize his five official visits to the East Coast, Lealao hopes to see Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Wisconsin.
"I still hear from Wisconsin over Facebook and through plenty of mail," Lealao said. "I don't know much about them, but I plan on getting to know more about them as I move into my senior year. I'm going to keep all my options open and Wisconsin is definitely still on my list … I'm seriously thinking about throwing Wisconsin in the mix for an official visit."
Being recruited by defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a, who has put an emphasize on recruiting the West Coast and Polynesian players for the Badgers, Lealao has been hearing plenty from the UW staff about how Wisconsin could fit what he's looking for.
"Coach Chad tells me that he really wants me to come there and get a feel what it is like and that I'll like it out there," said Lealao. "Things on those lines. I like Coach Chad a lot. He is a cool guy and friendly coach. Just pretty chill person. I'm keeping all my options open and there is a possibility I could be a Badger."
Brice Marich contributed to this report