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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 18, 2008

UH lands Radford's Malepeai

By Stephen Tsai
HawaiiWarriorBeat.com Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser


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An athletic defensive end from Radford High has accepted a football scholarship from the University of Hawai'i.

"I wanted to stay home," said Malepeai, who is 6 feet 2 and 245 pounds.

At Radford, he has been used on the perimeter as a defensive end and outside linebacker.

He also received interest from Washington, Arizona, California and Brigham Young.

But Malepeai said he was clear on his decision.

"It was up to him," said his father, Ofati Malepeai. "My wife (Legalo) wanted him to stay home. We're really happy, and really proud."

He will be the second Marcus Malepeai to play for the Warriors. He was named after his older cousin, who was raised by Ofati and Legalo.

"My wife wanted to name him after me, but I said to name him after my older brother's son," Ofati said.

Malepeai said: "My dad took care of him. My dad treated him like a son."

Malepeai participated in UH's Big Man's Camp in July.

"It was fun," he said. "It was real competitive."

It was at the camp where Malepeai met Ikaika Malloe, who coaches the UH defensive line. Malepeai said his decision was based partly on wanting to play for head coach Greg McMackin and Malloe.

"I like them a lot," Malepeai said.

Last year, Malepai also competed in the shot put and discus. In addition, he was a member of Radford's basketball team.

This coming spring, he will compete in volleyball as an outside hitter.

He has a 29-inch vertical jump, and can squat lift 455 pounds and power clean 265 pounds.

Malepeai should not have any difficulty meeting the NCAA eligibility requirements. He has a strong interest in math and science, and aspires to study engineering at UH.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.