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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Palelei chooses Arizona State to focus on studies, not party

Bishop Gorman football standout Po'u Palelei knows about Arizona State's reputation as a place to have a good time.

But that's not why the massive lineman chose the Sun Devils.

"It's not because it's a party school, but academically it's real good," Palelei said. "Their academic adviser, he has a plan for everyone on their football team. And if you're not studying there, he's going to have you do something else. And that helps."

The 6-foot-4-inch, 335-pound Palelei was one of 11 area football players to sign with Division I programs as the signing period started Wednesday.

Palelei said the chance to play early also was a reason he chose Arizona State.

"I'm bigger than most of the guys there on the line, on both sides of the line," Palelei said. "They said there's probably like a 75 percent chance that I'd be playing as a freshman."

Palelei was a first-team all-state pick on the offensive line as a senior but said he prefers defense. He said he'll go where the coaches want him, though, and knows he probably has more long-term potential on offense.

"If I want to go to the next level, which I do after college, offense is where my money's going to be at," Palelei said. "Where the money's going to be at is where I'm going to play."

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