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Friday, November 11, 2011

Gapelu Uses Polynesian Background as Basis for Work Ethic and Success

By Megan Allen / USU Athletic Media Relations

Philip Gapelu is a natural leader, though he doesn't do it the way others do. By focusing more on the example he's setting, he gets his team to work hard and do the best they can.
"If something needs to be said, I'll say it, but I try to lead more by example," Gapelu said. "I feel like what I do is more important than what I say."
As he has gone through his five seasons as an Aggie, he has learned what does and what doesn't work. He looks out for his teammates and tries to help them succeed.
"I think most people would consider me a leader because of how I act. I'm more playful with people. I look out for my teammates in a genuine way," Gapelu said. "If something isn't working, I do it different way and people tend to follow me."
Gapelu came to Logan for the 2007 season, but spent the first year as a redshirt. In the 2008 season, he saw action in all but two games, and halfway through the season, he had earned a starting position along the offensive line, a spot he has kept since, starting 31-straight games in his career and 36 overall both of which rank second on the team.
"Being a starter just takes a lot of time and dedication. When I first got the position I wasn't really sure why, but as each year goes on, it sinks in a little bit more," Gapelu said. "You have to fight at every level. There's a lot of film study and work in the weight room. Working on technique is really important too."
As one of the few players to come in under the Brent Guy staff and have two years under him, Gapelu really got to experience the difference in the old regime under Coach Guy and the new regime under head coach Gary Andersen and the ways they ran the Utah State program.

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