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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thor Salanoa to Utah, Ana Tuiasosopo Jr to New Mexico State

Posted on: Thursday, January 25, 2007

Salanoa to Utah, Tuiasosopo to New Mexico State

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Two Hawai'i high school seniors who share the same names with their famous fathers announced yesterday they have accepted college football scholarship offers.

Radford defensive end Thor Salanoa said he will play for Utah, which was the arch rival of his dad's 1984 national championship team at Brigham Young.

And Saint Louis' Advertiser All-State first-team offensive lineman Ana Tuiasosopo, whose dad played for Damien and Hawai'i, said he will play for New Mexico State.

Salanoa, 6 feet 2 and 185 pounds, turned down offers from Oregon State, UNLV and New Mexico State. A first team all-star in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association's Red (top tier) Conference Western Division this past season, he is projected to play middle linebacker or outside linebacker for the Utes.

"I really want to major in sports medicine, and their program is one of the top five in the nation," said Salanoa, who visited the Salt Lake City campus earlier this month. "And the players said the coaches will take care of you and have your back no matter what."

Salanoa's father, Thor, was a football and basketball standout at Radford before becoming a starter at Brigham Young.

"They have a sports radio show up there (in Utah), and I heard everyone's talking about me," Salanoa said. "A lot of people already know my name."

Tuiasosopo, 5 feet 10 and 285 pounds, said he also received interest from Utah but actually gave New Mexico State a verbal commitment back in May. He sealed his decision after an official recruiting visit to Las Cruces, N.M., this past weekend.

"I felt real comfortable," Tuiasosopo said. "There's a lot of local players there, and I really like the coaching staff."

Tuiasosopo said he likely will play nose guard for the Aggies.

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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