It is a pretty good indication if you are a player in Hawai'i and a coach from the mainland flies in just for your game then soon after the game is over, he's back on a plane heading back home. That's exactly what UCLA did last week when defensive coordinator, Chuck Bullough went to see defensive tackle prospect Sealii Epenesa (6-2, 305) from Honolulu (Hawai'i) Iolani.
"It was great that they (UCLA) got to see me play," Epenesa said. "It was a great feeling (knowing UCLA was in the crowd), but I couldn't let get to my head. I just had to play my game.
Epenesa didn't allow the fact that UCLA was in the audience affect his play because he was outstanding on the night and needless to say, UCLA went away impressed with the big defensive tackle from Hawai'i. He accounted for seven tackles on the night, three tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble that a teammate picked up and took to the house for a score.
On the recruiting front, Epenesa has five offers on the table from UCLA, Oregon State, Washington, Colorado and Texas Tech.
Epenesa hasn't set any visits, yet, but he is in the process of setting his first.
"I'm trying to get a visit to UCLA during our bye week in October," Epenesa said. "That's it for right now. The other schools that have offered, want me to visit them, too, but we haven't set anything up yet. I will probably set all of my other visits after the season."
UCLA was not the first D-I school to attend an Iolani game this season.
"Against Honolulu (Hawai'i) Pac Five, someone from Florida came to our game," Epenesa said. "I haven't talked to anyone from there, but they knew some people at Iolani and they came out to see me play."
Does the fact the UCLA has done well in Hawai'i lately help the Bruins at all?
"Yes, it does," Epenesa said. "I will be able to brag about our win to the Punahou kids."
Is there a timeframe for Epenesa's decision?
"I think when I make up my mind will be after the season," Epenesa said. "I don't think it will be before the season ends.
Iolani currently stands at 6-1 and appear to be playoff bound where Epenesa and his teammates hope to take the state crown. They beat defending state champ Honolulu (Hawai'i) Punahou last Friday.