Tupua to sign with Idaho

Palomar had a great season this year and leading the way up front was one of the best offensive lines in the country. The leader of the group was C Sam Tupua (6-3, 315) who made all the line calls for an offense that averaged 420 yards and 31.9 points per game and went all the way to the state semi-finals. On Thursday, Tupua plans to sign with Idaho and he talked about his decision...

Coming from Banning High School in Wilmington, California, Tupua came from a troubled past, but made the decision to go on the straight and narrow instead of joining the gangs that are so prevalent in the area he is from.

"I actually got stabbed and that sorta woke me up," Tupua said. "I never thought I would do anything like go to college, but I actually did pretty well in school and when the opportunity came to get out of there and to make something of myself, I decided to go to Palomar.

"I was getting involved with the gangs. I hadn't joined or anything, but I didn't want that lifestyle either, so I decided to get away from the trouble and I'm just happy that I did because that decision has led me to where I am today."

Today, the hulking 315-pounder is on the brink of signing a scholarship with an up-and-coming football program that is getting ready for its first bowl game in years.

"Idaho was the school that showed me they wanted me the most," Tupua said. "I've been talking to them all year and about two weeks ago I took a visit there and just knew it was the place for me.

"Their top lineman, Mike Iupati, is graduating, so there is time available up there and they said they really like me at center because of how smart I am and how I play.

"Southern Miss offered me and Utah came in at the last minute and wanted me to visit and told me they might offer, but by then I'd already made up my mind."

Today was the start of the early signing period for mid-year transfers, but Tupua noted that he wanted to wait for his parents before he signed.

"They are a part of this for me and they are coming up tomorrow (Thursday) to watch me sign," Tupua said. "I'm just real excited about all of this and my parents are really happy for me, so I wanted them to be a part of it."

Tupua will enroll at Idaho in January and he will have three years to play two once he arrives.

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