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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Trio ready to sign on dotted line

Trio ready to sign on dotted line

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 9:40 AM HST

Kamehameha lineman, Kealakehe duo taking their football skills to next level

by Brendan Shriane
Stephens Media

Today's the day three Big Island high school football players take their skills to the next level.

A pair of Kealakehe players -- offensive lineman Levi Legay and running back Gabe Tuata -- and Kamehameha-Hawaii defensive lineman Kalani Aldrich are moving on to play Division I-A football. Today, the three will sign letters of intent today -- the first day high school seniors can sign with Division I-A teams.

Legay and Tuata, who will be teammates at the University of Hawaii, will be at Kapolei Hale on Oahu for the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance's National Letter of Intent signing day party hosted by Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann. That ceremony, which will feature 43 Hawaii football players and one soccer player signing their letters of intent, will begin at 7 a.m.

"I'm really excited (about signing)," said Legay, a 6-foot-3, 270-pounder who is projected as a center or guard at Hawaii. "I'm pretty excited about meeting some of the other players."

Legay, a first-team All-Big Island Interscholastic Federation pick the last two years, met a slew of current Warriors on his recruiting trip to Manoa last month, but doesn't know many of the incoming freshmen, other than high school teammate Tuata.

Today, the two Waveriders will share the stage with six other Hawaii prep players who will sign to play at the University of Hawaii, including another pair of high school teammates -- quarterback Miah Ostrowski and offensive lineman Drew Uperesa from Punahou.

Tuata, who committed to Hawaii in November, said he's been in touch with Hawaii coaches who have told him to gain some weight to prepare for his college career. The BIIF Division I Player of the Year, who was a running back in high school, is projected to play at slotback in coach June Jones' run-and-shoot offense. The 5-6, 168-pounder may also return kicks for the Warriors.

Legay and Tuata likely will redshirt during their freshmen years, which will help them adjust to college life.

"They just told me to make sure I show up to practice and meetings on time and get to class," Tuata said. "That's why they want to me to redshirt -- to get used to the process."

Aldrich, who is headed to the University of Washington, will sign his letter of intent at Kamehameha's Keaau campus today at 8 a.m.

Aldrich will be the second Big Island football player to join Washington in the last three years. Two years ago, Hawaii Prep's Daniel Teo-Nesheim signed to play for the Huskies -- he ended up starting all of Washington's 11 games at defensive end for the Huskies in 2006 as a redshirt freshman.

Aldrich said Teo-Nesheim -- and Brandon Ala, who attended Kamehameha-Kapalama -- hosted him when Aldrich visited Washington's Seattle campus and made him feel at home.

"I just thought Washington was a good place for me to be," said Aldrich, who was a first-team All-BIIF selection on both the offensive and defensive lines for the two-time BIIF Division II champion Warriors. "The coaches share my values and are into doing things the right way."

The 6-7, 260-pound Aldrich, who will play defensive tackle for the Huskies, only made one other recruiting visit -- to Oregon. He said he felt comfortable in Seattle.

"The people there reminded me of the people at home," he said.

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