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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

UH adds defensive end

Moanalua High's Ipulasi Eselu plays rush end, but his college choice was not made in haste.

"I thought about it, and I'm going to be a Warrior," said Eselu, who accepted a scholarship offer from the Hawai'i football team. "My family is here. They can come and support me."

Eselu is the 12th member of UH's 2010 recruiting class.

Eselu said he is 6 feet 2 and 200 pounds.

Moanalua head coach Arnold Martinez said Eselu was used as a stand-up end, essentially an outside linebacker, but projects to play defensive end in college.

"We needed a strong outside backer, and he was the first candidate," Martinez said. "He was easy to coach there. And I think it helped his footwork. He was able to cover (pass) routes."

His older brother, Savaii Eselu, is a tight end for California.

"I think he's going to grow," Martinez said of Ipulasi Eselu. "His brother is 6-5, and his dad is huge."

Martinez also praised Eselu's workmanlike attitude.

"He doesn't take a play off," Martinez said. "For me, it's a blessing to coach him. His dad and his family did a great job with him. That starts in the home."

Eselu said he was raised as a Warrior fan. He also looked up to former UH quarterback Tim Chang and slotback/returner Chad Owens.

"They were inspirations," Eselu said. "They did very well for the state. They made us look real good."

Eselu said he has not decided which field to pursue in college.

Martinez praised Eselu as "an awesome kid. He tries very hard to do well academically. He's not a guy you have to babysit. When he's not studying or in class, he's with us. He's going to listen, and he's going to work hard.

"He has a very high football IQ," Martinez added. "He picks up the theory of whatever we're trying to accomplish. It's almost like having another coach on the field."

Eselu is the second Moanalua player to commit, following offensive lineman Frank Loyd.

"They're both very good players," Martinez said.

Earlier, UH received commitments from quarterback Kevin Spain of Paradise Valley High (Ariz.), slotbacks Samson Anguay of Campbell High and Corey Lau of Kailua High; wideout Christian "Bubba" Poueu-Luna of Great Oaks High (Calif.); offensive linemen David Lefotu of Pearl City High and London Sapolu of Orange Coast College; defensive linemen Calen Friel of Kailua, Viliami "Pep" Fonokalafi of Kaimuki High and Charles Tuaau of Leilehua High, and linebacker Dominic Sierra of La Habra High.

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