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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

UH signs Sapolu's son

By Stephen Tsai Editor

London Sapolu, the son of one of the greatest University of Hawai'i football players, has accepted a scholarship from the Warriors.

Sapolu will play his sophomore season at Orange Coast Community College, then transfer to UH in January. He will have two seasons of NCAA eligibility.

Sapolu, who is 6 feet 1 and 295 pounds, played defensive tackle last season. He will start at center this season.

Sapolu turned down an offer from Tennessee, opting to follow in the cleats of his father, Jesse Sapolu.

"I had other options, but after sitting down with my family and my dad — and being half Samoan and half Hawaiian — everybody thought I would be more comfortable in Hawai'i," London Sapolu said.

Jesse Sapolu said: "I'm happy he's going to become a Warrior. I think Hawai'i will be a more comfortable atmosphere for him. I always wanted at least one of my sons to go to my alma mater. I'm happy they're representing the name."

London Sapolu said he did not realize that his father was a football legend "until after he retired from football."

Jesse Sapolu won four Super Bowl championships with the San Francisco 49ers.

London Sapolu said he was "4 or 5" when his father won his last Super Bowl ring.

"They still tell me a story about how they wanted to take me to a Super Bowl, but I told them I'd rather stay in the hotel and watch the Power Rangers," London said, laughing.

Jesse Sapolu said his son "is going to surprise a lot of people. In my opinion, he's a pretty good player."

London Sapolu plays guitar and 'ukulele. He also designs and administers tattoos. He owns his own tattoo machine. But like a skinny chef, he said, "My dad doesn't want me to have any (tattoos)."

He received his unique name from a city where his father played two NFL exhibition games. Because two elder siblings have names beginning with "L," he said, "My mom said, 'it's either London or Larry.' "

Now, it's his hope, he will both carry on and make a name at UH.

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