Wednesday, February 7, 2001
The SaintsIt wasn't a case of last-minute Badgering that had Lyle Maiava sign a letter of intent today to accept a football scholarship from Wisconsin. It was academic considerations.
Cites academics as
Time to sign
on dotted line
By Dave Reardon
The St. Louis School defensive tackle, who had verbally committed to Oregon in January, said Wisconsin was his first choice all along, because of the school's computer engineering program. But the Badgers did not have a scholarship available for him until last week.
"Before I committed to Oregon I told the (Oregon) coaches I would go to Wisconsin if something opened up there," Maiava said today at St. Louis' official letter of intent signing at the school.
"Last Friday (assistant) coach Jeff Horton at Wisconsin called and said they had one for me, so I let Oregon know right away."
Maiava joins Kamehameha offensive lineman Donovan Raiola, who was also expected to sign with Wisconsin today.
Maiava's late switch was the only one expected as 14 local high school prospects were slated to sign letters of intent today.
"I'm proud of the way Lyle handled this," said his father, Isaako Maiava. "He's doing what's best for his long-term future after football. Wisconsin has everything he needs academically."
Also at St. Louis, Star-Bulletin Back of the Year Pesefea Fiaseu and all-state linebacker Ikaika Curnan put pen to paper to officially became University of Hawaii Warriors.
Fiaseu was UH's first verbal commitment, in December.
He said he was never seriously tempted to change his choice, even when several of the other top local recruits started to commit to mainland schools.
"It's kind of like making a promise and you don't make a promise you can't keep," Fiaseu said. "I had some brief second thoughts but when Ikaika committed last week it made me feel better, like he was another building block."
Curnan came extremely close to also choosing Wisconsin before selecting UH last week.
"It was a tough choice, but it was his choice," said his father, Martin Curnan. "One of the good things is that family and friends will get to watch him play."
Ikaika Curnan bonded with coaches at Wisconsin on his recruiting visit, making his decision incredibly difficult, he said.
"Well, the hard part's over already," Curnan said before signing today. "This is the easy part."
The other signees at St. Louis today were linebacker Joseph Lobendahn, who selected Washington over Wisconsin, and defensive lineman Lafaele Manupuna, who chose Colorado.
Manupuna, a late verbal commitment, selected the Buffaloes over Oregon, Arizona, Washington and Hawaii.
"This bunch is a group of good leaders on the field and on campus," St. Louis coach Cal Lee said. "We're real proud of all their accomplishments and it looks like a bright future for all."
At Kahuku later today, Star-Bulletin Lineman of the Year Chris Kemoe'atu was expected to formalize his verbal commitment to Utah, as was linebacker Semisi Livai.
Also, defensive back/receiver Aaron Francisco and wide receiver Saia Hafoka were slated to sign with Brigham Young.
At Kailua, offensive lineman Travis Lokahi signed with Hawaii this morning.
At Kaimuki, Justin Faimealelei and Kila Kamakawiwo'ole were both expected to sign with Hawaii. Both are versatile athletes who could play offense or defense.
There was speculation as late as last week that Iolani lineman Willie Kava would de-commit from Washington and switch to Hawaii. But the latest information as of last night had Kava staying with the Huskies.