Punahou all-state offensive lineman Semisi Uluave signed a letter of intent with the University of California at Berkeley this morning at the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance ceremony.
Uluave, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior, opted for Cal over several other programs, including Oregon.
“I felt like Cal is the best fit for me, and it’s the No. 1 public university in the country, in the world,” he said.
The multi-talented Laie resident did not mention if he will go on an two-year LDS mission for sure. Uluave was one of dozens of student-athletes who made their way to the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel by 6 a.m. After each athlete was formally introduced, they signed their letters at 7 a.m., the earliest time permitted (noon EST) on national LOI day.
Uluave, who is also a gifted singer, will see Buffanblu teammate Kanawai Noa at Berkeley. The record-breaking wide receiver also signed with the Golden Bears.
The long list of signees included several for University of Hawaii’s football program: offensive linemen Jordan Agasiva (Mililani) and Arona Amosa (Campbell), linebacker/safety Solomon Matautia (Campbell) and kicker/punter Alex Trifonovitch (Punahou).
Most of the football players at the PIAA event are heading to the continent. That includes a group heading to national powerhouse Oregon: defensive tackle Rex Manu (Mililani), defensive back/kick returner Dylan Kane (Kamehameha), plus defensive lineman Matthew Mariota (Saint Louis) and linebacker Jaren Zadlio (Mililani).
The military academies swooped in to stock their talent pools, as usual. Kahuku defensive back Alohi Gilman signed with the Naval Academy after being called by head coach Kenny Niumatalolo, a former Radford standout and UH quarterback. Army has Kamehameha offensive lineman Radson Jang on his way to West Point. Gilman and Jang will enroll in each institution’s prep school before officially starting their eligibility clocks as college football players.
Among the major-college football signees: linebacker Ronley Lakalaka (Punahou), offensive linemen Pesi Savea (Kapolei) and Nathaniel Oishi (‘Iolani) to San Diego State; Lyle Tuiloma (Nanakuli) to Colorado; offensive lineman William Auwae (Kapolei) to Utah State; defensive end Mika Tafua (Kamehameha) to BYU.
As expected, highly-touted Fred Ulu-Perry of Saint Louis signed with UCLA.
A number of Leahi Soccer Club players signed letters to play with various universities. Three signed with Idaho and two with Gonzaga.
Pima Community College was among many two-year schools to make an impact with local football talent. Five local players inked their futures with the Arizona school.
Former Farrington two-time scholar-athlete of the year Shawn Lauvao was the guest speaker. Lauvao, who starts at left guard for the Washington Redskins, urged the signees to be opportunistic and approach every challenge with a purpose.
See more in Thursday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.