Inferrera expected
to choose Warriors

The offensive lineman would join
Saint Louis teammates Rivers and
Paepule in UH's recruiting class

By Dave Reardon

Saint Louis School offensive lineman Jeremy Inferrera told the Star-Bulletin he will likely accept a football scholarship offer from Hawaii within the next few days, joining Crusaders teammates and fellow state top-10 prospects Timo Paepule (linebacker) and receiver Jason Rivers (receiver).

Also, the Warriors received a commitment yesterday from running back Lenny Boatner of Philadelphia, Miss., who will probably play slot receiver at Hawaii. Another player from that state, punter Tim Wright of Southwest Mississippi Community College, has been offered a UH scholarship and will likely accept it by the end of the week, sources said.

Inferrera, 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds and No. 9 in the Star-Bulletin's prospect rankings, visited Arizona State last week. His UH visit begins Friday, and Inferrera said he goes into it leaning heavily toward joining the Warriors.

"It didn't fit me," Inferrera said of Arizona State. "UH definitely has the lead."

Saint Louis athletic director Cal Lee said Inferrera could make an impact on the UH offensive line -- which loses three starters -- early on.

"He's got good feet and good size and a good attitude," Lee said. "He's a workaholic. He can really compete, possibly for a position right away. He's got the size to do that. I don't think he's a project you have to wait for to develop."

Paepule canceled a visit to Utah this week, his father, also named Timo, said.

"He said Hawaii giving him a scholarship is a great deal and he doesn't want to pass that up," Paepule Sr. said. "I'm happy for him and his mom is really happy."

Paepule, 6-feet, 210, is another player who has the potential to compete for playing time early on, as all three UH starting linebackers from last year have completed their college playing days.

"He could come in there and help," Lee said. "Very mature. A good kid, a player that coaches love. He works hard and always does what he's told."

Changing positions shouldn't be a problem for Boatner.

"He's one of the most talented athletes I've ever been around." said Boatner's high school coach, Steve Kelly, who was also a college football coach for 10 years. "It doesn't matter what it is. You could take him on the golf course for the first time and he'd be able to play right away. Tiddlywinks. It doesn't matter what it is, he's a natural and he'd be good at it."

He said watching Hawaii beat Fresno State on TV last season spurred his interest. Boatner also saw UH lose to Alabama and Tulane, but that didn't bother him.

"Those games could've gone either way," he said. "I liked the offense (Hawaii) ran."

Boatner had sent two game tapes to the Warrior coaches.

They saw some of the ability that allowed Boatner to rush for 1,275 yards on 143 carries last season. He ran for 17 touchdowns, caught passes for four more and also reached the end zone on a punt return as his Winston Academy (Louisville, Miss.) team went 5-5.

He caught two touchdown passes and was his team's offensive most valuable player in a Mississippi all-star game last month.

"He's got great acceleration and great hands," Kelly said. "He'll make a fine receiver at the collegiate level. Once he gets the ball in his hands he's something else. The first guy almost never gets him."

Boatner was not highly recruited, probably because Winston Academy plays in one of the state's smallest leagues.

Boatner also visited Alabama-Birmingham. He received a firm scholarship offer from Tennessee-Martin and was asked to walk on at Mississippi.

He said he was apprehensive about attending college in Hawaii until his visit last week.

"The people are real nice. I was kind of worried about that being from so far away, but after the visit I felt great about it and I don't think it will be a problem at all," Boatner said.

The Warriors have also received firm commitments are from offensive lineman Michael Lafaele (Farrington), defensive back George Perry (Kahuku), quarterback Jack Rolovich (Novato, San Marin, Calif.) and defensive lineman Quinn Ah You (Kahuku).

On the trail: Reports of Kahuku safety Viliami Nauahi's commitment to Brigham Young have been exaggerated, according to his mother, Eleni. "It's very much up in the air," she said. The state's No. 3 prospect will still visit Penn State (Jan. 31) and Hawaii the following week, she said. ... Saint Louis defensive end Wilson Afoa (No. 7) visits UH this weekend. He has it narrowed down to Hawaii, Washington and Washington State. ... Transfers Lincoln Manutai (linebacker, San Bernardino CC) and Hausia Faleofa (defensive lineman, Western Michigan) might walk on at UH. Both would have to sit out a year before they can play for the Warriors. ... UH coach June Jones and assistant Rich Miano are recruiting in American Samoa this week. The Warriors hosted several players from Samoa over the weekend. ... Long Beach Poly lineman Hercules Satele, who played against Kahuku in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football Classic last year, is visiting UH this weekend.

UH Athletics

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