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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Two linemen say they'll sign with Warriors

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

REED: 6-foot-5, 240-pound tackle
With a swift 1-2 combination, the University of Hawai'i football team landed both a standout high school offensive lineman and junior-college defensive lineman.

Mesepa "Sepa" Reed, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound tackle from St. Louis School, and nose tackle Matt "Rocky" Faga, who played the past two seasons at Fresno City College, told The Advertiser they have accepted football scholarship offers from the Warriors.

Reed was named to The Advertiser's all-state second team.

"I think he has good size and he's awfully strong," outgoing St. Louis coach Cal Lee said. "He's going to get bigger. He's a heck of a prospect. He's very competitive."

Reed returned Sunday from a recruiting trip to UCLA. "I wanted to see all of my options, and I thought UH was the best for me," said Reed, whose cousin, Leo Reed Jr., is a UH linebacker. Two other cousins, Tanoai Reed and Dewey Reed, also played for UH. His father, Harlan Reed, played at Mississippi State.

Reed is an honor student who already has qualified academically to play as a freshman. He plans to major in pre-medicine. He also is an avid reader, listing Stephen King as a favorite author.

"I really liked the coaches there," said Reed, who visited UH in early December. "I think they have a good academic program, too."

The 6-foot-3, 329-pound Faga was selected to the Central Valley Conference all-star team the past two years. "We won 20 games in two years, and a lot of that had to do with how he played," Fresno City College coach Tony Caviglia said.

In two seasons, Faga amassed 11 sacks and 17 tackles for losses. He can bench press 480 pounds.

He will earn an associate degree in May, allowing him to play in the fall. He will have three years to play two seasons.

Faga is a graduate of Kaimuki High, where he was named to the O'ahu Interscholastic Association's White Conference all-star team as an offensive lineman and defensive lineman.

At UH, he will compete at defensive tackle and pursue a degree in education. His goal is to become "the head coach at Kaimuki High School. I'll be the first Samoan head coach in Kaimuki history."

Faga visited UH this past weekend, and came away impressed with his hosts — linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa and defensive tackle Lui Fuga. "It seems like we became best friends," he said.