Versatile Radford DE Malepeai commits to Hawaii
is open to trying new things.
But when it came to picking a college, the Radford High School senior stuck to the familiar.
Malepeai is anticipating continuing his football career at Aloha Stadium - within walking distance down Salt Lake Boulevard from the Radford campus - after accepting a scholarship offer from Hawaii.
"My parents were a big part in the decision," Malepeai said. "I wanted to stay home and play in front of them and my friends."
Malepeai (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) played on both the offensive and defensive lines for the Rams last year, but is locked in at defensive end this season.
"He's solid all the way around. He's very quiet, very respectful. He doesn't say much but usually leads by his actions," Radford coach Fred Salanoa said.
"I just think the University of Hawaii is getting an awesome player. He's going to get bigger, and he's going to get stronger and faster."
Malepeai carries a 3.2 grade-point average and is interested in studying engineering.
With his college future settled, Malepeai is looking to help the Rams build on a 3-0 start in the Oahu Interscholastic Association White Division. Radford faces Kalaheo for the top spot in the conference tomorrow night.
While he still has a few games left in his prep football career, Malepeai is still looking for new avenues to pursue in his senior season. Already a member of the Radford basketball and track and field teams, he's planning to try out for the Rams' volleyball team as well.
"Just wanted to try something new," said Malepeai, whose older sister, Marlena, was a volleyball standout at Radford and is now attending Gonzaga.
"It's my senior year, so my friends and I just decided to try it."
Junior defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea
is expected to be back in pads when the Warriors resume practice Monday in preparation for the Western Athletic Conference opener against San Jose State on Sept. 27.
Savaiigaea suffered a tear in his triceps muscle early in fall camp and participated in some individual drills this week. He was slated to play a prominent role in the defensive tackle rotation prior to the injury.
Linebacker Blaze Soares attended yesterday's practice, but said he isn't certain when he might return to practice. Soares has been out since suffering a tear in his calf during camp. He said he's been walking without a protective boot since Tuesday.
"I'm just trying not to rush it," Soares said.