Pula commits to Cougars

Former Kahuku standout running back Mulivai Pula orally committed to play football for College of the Canyons in Southern California this fall, Cougars assistant coach Leon Criner said today.

Another Cougars assistant, Lole Takapu, made the school's initial contact with Pula and recruited him.

Pula led the Red Raiders to a second-straight state championship as a senior in 2001.

"I remember watching a tape of him when he was at Kahuku," Criner said. "He's a fine athlete and we're pleased to have him."

Pula spent a year at Dixie State College of Utah, but he didn't play football and still has four years of eligibility. He's been timed at 4.3 in the 40-yard dash.

Under head coach Chuck Lyon, the Cougars use the West Coast offense and mostly run a single-back formation.

"We're looking for a running back and it looks like Mulivai fits the bill," Criner said. "If I'm not mistaken, he was the fastest kid on the island (Oahu) when he was a senior. And he can catch the ball, which is important to us."

The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Pula is expected to begin working out with College of the Canyons this summer. The Cougars are coming off a 10-2 season in which they lost to Reedley (Northern California) for the community college national championship.

Defensive lineman Hausia Faleofa, a Kahuku alumnus, played for College of the Canyons for two years before transferring to Western Michigan a year ago. He has since transferred to Hawaii.

Isaac Sopoaga, a UH defensive lineman, is another former College of the Canyons player. Criner, the Cougars' defensive line coach, thinks Sopoaga is good enough to be a top-15 pick in the NFL Draft.


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