Six weeks after naming his top 5, Semisi Uluave
was ready to shorten his list once again.
Uluave named UCLA, Texas Tech, and Oregon as his three finalist, cutting Wisconsin and Vanderbilt from his list.
At this point, the Bruins seem to be Uluave's favorite school, but he is planning to take three official visits, and is very open to all the schools.
"I know this is a life long commitment," Uluave claimed. "It's not just about a few years of football, it's about my future. I know that my college education and experience will dictate many things down the road for me. There are a lot of factors going into this decision, and I am pretty excited about the three schools I am really choosing to focus on."
UCLA has been at the top of Uluave's list for a while now. He is hoping to take his official visit November 22, for the USC game.
"I love UCLA," Uluave stated. "I can really picture going there. It's a great fit academically, on the football field, and the whole atmosphere is great. Me and my parents always talk about, what happens if a coach or the entire coaching staff leave. It's always a possibility, and with UCLA, I feel okay about that. I love Coach Mora and Coach Ulbrich, but if they were to move on, I think I'd still really like UCLA. That's important when making my decision."
"It's hard to not like the direction of the Bruins program. They are bringing in a lot of great talent and it seems like something special is being built there. Hopefully I can get out there to see them beat up on the Trojans, but I may be in the middle of the playoffs then, so we'll see what happens. I know I definitely want to take an official to UCLA, it's just a question of when works best."
Texas Tech has recently emerged as serious contenders for the versatile offensive linemen. Despite the distance and the obvious differences between Hawaii and Lubbock, Texas, Uluave is very excited about the direction of the Red Raiders program.
"If you pay attention to recruiting, it is easy to be fired up about Texas Tech," Uluave explained. "Coach Kingsbury and his staff are building something really big, and it would be cool to be a part of it. Breiden Fehoko is a good friend and the fact that he is on board is pretty huge. I really want to visit and see what it's like out there. I have heard great things and know the fans are crazy about football. I think Texas Tech is going to make a lot of noise in the Big12, but also nationally. They have some big time players buying into what they are doing and that is really exciting. I need to check it out."
Oregon is also a school that has been towards the top of Uluave's list for a while. The Ducks have some familiar faces on their roster that could help landed the coveted four-star.
"I've always like the Ducks," Uluave said. "They have always had good players from Hawaii out there and that is a big deal. My very good friend, Davis Miyashiro-Saipaia walked on at Oregon, and is a guy that could earn a scholarship there. I played next to him for two years at Punahou and would love a chance to play with him in college. Also, the coaching staff has been great. They always check in with, and really care about how things are going in my life, not just football. Oregon is a great school and has a top notch football program too."
Uluave is also good friends with another Punahou four-star standout, Canton Kaumatule. Landing both big time prospects would be a home run for any school. Uluave explained the possibility of a package deal.
"Canton and I are really close," Uluave said. "We have talked about playing college ball together for a long time now. Obviously, at the end of the day, our decision are separate. I need to do what's best for me, and Canton needs to do what's best for him. Playing together would be awesome, but right now, it kind of seems like we may be focusing on some different schools. I may be going on an official visit with him to Oregon, when the Ducks take on Stanford, but that really depends on where our season is at. We'll see what happens."
Both Kaumatule and Uluave have been spending a lot of their offseason rehabbing injuries. They are both at 100%, but unfortunately Uluave will have to sit out the season opener against St. Louis on Friday.
"I'm 100% ready to play, but the doctors won't clear me until Monday," Uluave claimed with frustration. "Honestly, it's pretty stupid, but until they clear me, there's nothing I can do. I've been hitting the weight room really hard and my fitness is as good as it's ever been, but they want me to wait until after the weekend. It is what it is."
You'd be hard-pressed to find a prospect more grounded than Uluave. He has done his homework on the recruiting process and has methodically narrowed his list from around 20 to 3. Uluave was rated the #3 guard out West this year, but when you factor in his versatility, he may even be more valuable. He has the capability to play any spot on the offensive line and has one of the highest football IQs in the country. When you factor in his versatility, smarts, incredible strength, and surprisingly quick feet, it is easy to see why Semisi Uluave is so highly sought after.
AUG. 28 -- 2015 four-star offensive guard Semisi Uluave has cut his list to three...
The four-star guard says UCLA is the top school on his remaining list...