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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mana Lolotai to UH

Posted on: Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lolotai accepts Warrior offer

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Ending all doubts, former Kamehameha Schools linebacker Mana Lolotai yesterday formally accepted a University of Hawai'i football scholarship.

"I made it official," Lolotai said. "I wanted to make the best decision for me and my family. Staying home is a plus for me. My family is here, and the football program is very good. I'm happy with my decision."

Lolotai, who was named to The Advertiser's 2005 All-State second team, signed a letter of intent with Oregon State in February 2006. But he did not meet the requirements to play for the Beavers last season.

He said he is attending Hawai'i Pacific University, where he will earn enough credits to transfer to UH in the fall.

"I put in a lot of hard work," said Lolotai, who is married and has a 5-month-old daughter. "It's worth it."

OSU promised to reserve a scholarship for him. Instead, Lolotai opted to commit to UH. He said he will put his commitment in writing Feb. 7, the first day of the 2007 signing period.

Lolotai said he is 6 feet and 235 pounds.

"In high school, I wanted to get bigger," said Lolotai, who weighed 215 as a Kamehameha senior. "I thought 235 was a good weight. I want to find a good balance between a strong weight and something that won't slow me down."

He also said it has not been determined if he will compete at inside or outside linebacker.

"For me, inside linebacker is a comfortable position," Lolotai said. "But I think outside linebacker is more fun for me. It'll take a little adjustment."

He will have three seasons of eligibility. But he will be eligible for a fourth season if he earns 75 percent of the credits needed to graduate by August 2010.

Meanwhile, cornerback Calvin Roberts of College of San Mateo has withdrawn a verbal commitment to San Jose State and is mulling an offer from UH.

Roberts said UH stopped recruiting him two weeks ago. But this week, Roberts said, "They said they might have a couple of scholarships left."

Roberts accepted a recruiting trip to UH. He arrives tomorrow. "I want to see how it goes," Roberts said.

He said he is 6 feet and weighs 185. He said he can run 40 yards in 4.45 seconds.

In addition to San Jose State, Roberts also has scholarship offers from Washington State and Western Illinois.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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