WAILUKU – Baldwin High School offensive lineman Sean Tesoro verbally committed to accept a scholarship offer from Nevada-Las Vegas during his official visit over the weekend.Tesoro, a 6-foot-3, 285-pounder, was a first-team Maui Interscholastic League All-Star last season and has played on three Baldwin teams that advanced to the state Division I semifinals.
“When I was up at my visit, it just felt right,’’ Tesoro said Monday. “It was just how the coaches treated you, they are genuine and you could tell they cared about you and stuff.’’
Tesoro’s final list of schools included scholarship offers from UNLV, Idaho State, Weber State, Portland State, and the University of Hawaii.
Tesoro said it was not hard to turn down Hawaii when the Warriors recently asked him to greyshirt – delay enrollment until the winter of 2009 – to save Tesoro a year of eligibility and UH a scholarship for the 2008 season.
“UNLV, they want me to come in and try to start next year,’’ Tesoro said. “Yeah, I’m relieved. I can just concentrate on school and getting better grades. (UH) wanted me to greyshirt, but I wanted to play as soon as possible.’’
He plans to compete for the Bears in track and field, throwing the shot put and discus.
Baldwin’s Chase Nakamura, an all-state wide receiver last season when he caught 20 touchdowns in 12 games, is also on UNLV’s wish list, but has not yet taken an official visit there.
“It would be great to have Chase there,’’ Tesoro said. “He was one of the first ones to congratulate me when I got back to school.’’
The large contingent of Hawaii transplants in the Las Vegas area also made Tesoro’s decision easier. He said he is undecided on a major.
“I wouldn’t miss home if I went there and the academics is stepping it up,’’ Tesoro said.
Former Baldwin coach Jimmy Morimoto is on the UNLV staff as the assistant video coordinator and defensive assistant. Coaches are prohibited from commenting on players until they sign a national letter of intent in February.
Tesoro said he is currently 285 pounds, down from the 290 he played at for most of the season in which he played every offensive line spot at one point or another for the Bears.
“(UNLV) wants me to play left guard,’’ Tesoro said. “I was left guard most of the time for us, but I think I played every position this season. They want me to report at 285 or so and that shouldn’t be a problem.’’
Tesoro’s teams were 30-4-1 in three varsity seasons at Baldwin, three of the losses coming in state semifinal games.
“Baldwin is a great program,’’ Tesoro said. “It helped me a lot. That is where it all started for me, preparing for the next level.’’