Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cal lands Moanalua's Eselu

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Savai'i Eselu

spacer spacer

Apparently, mother knows best.

Moanalua High senior tight end Savai'i Eselu ran a reverse by telling California he would accept its football scholarship offer after giving Oregon a verbal commitment last month.

"My mom wanted me to go to Cal," Eselu said.

Bears coach Jeff Tedford made a home visit to Eselu last week and convinced his mother, Tammy, that California had more to offer educationally than Oregon.

"He was talking to my mom about the education opportunities and different degrees (you can get at Cal)," Eselu said. "He was telling her how strong a Cal degree is. Football is not going to be my whole life."

He told Tedford of his decision Sunday, then called Oregon coach Mike Bellotti.

"That was the hardest thing I ever did, having to call Coach Bellotti," said Eselu, who added that Bellotti told him he would continue to recruit the 6-foot-4, 248-pound player.

The other hard part was responding to the Hawai'i players on the Oregon team. Ducks senior center Enoka Lucas, a Kamehameha graduate, sent him a photo of the Hawai'i players through his cell phone.

"They're in Vegas for the (Las) Vegas Bowl," Eselu said. "It was a photo of the Poly (Polynesian) boys."

Eselu took his recruiting visit to Cal the weekend of Dec. 1-3, when the Bears hosted and beat rival Stanford, 26-17. He said Tedford told him he had a chance to play as a true freshman.

Eselu also made recruiting visits to Oregon, Arizona and Colorado. He canceled a fifth and final visit to San Diego State.

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.