Foothill's Pela will be available this summer

An unsung freshman who played a key role on Foothill's defense this past year was Joape Pela (6-2, 300). The gifted interior defensive lineman greyshirted in 2007 and has been hard at work in the classroom this year and expects to have his AA by July. He's hoping his one season of college football and his determination on the academic side will result in some offers in the coming months...

"I played at Mountainview High School and my grades were terrible," Pela admitted to "Foothill was real close to home and the program here is really good, so that is really what made it a good situation for me.

"After high school, I started to realize I didn't want bad grades to keep me from playing football or keep me from my goals and now I have a 3.2 GPA and last quarter (during the season) I got a 3.6 GPA so it was a tough lesson for me to learn, but I've learned it and it's not going to be an issue anymore."

In his one season for Foothill, Pela posted 45 tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss and five sacks, using his impressive size and quick first step to cause problems for opposing offenses.

"I can do whatever a team needs me to do," Pela said. "I can play the three-technique or one-technique or even play end because I did that at Foothill. I just want to play, so it doesn't matter to me."

Pela has to complete several classes to get his AA degree, but he's currently on pace to finish that in July and he hopes schools will take note.

"I want schools to know how hard I'm working to be available this year," Pela said. "Oregon State, Hawaii and San Jose State are the schools that have been talking to me, but honestly I'm not really worried about recruiting right now.

"I'm really concentrating on school and I know schools will get on me when they realize I can be there this fall."

Should Pela sign with a school and enroll this summer he would have four years to play three.

Joape Pela Scout Profile

Joape Pela 2008 highlight video

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