Malepeai done after Oregon pledge
When three-star running back Vavae Malepeai added a scholarship offer from Oregon three weeks ago, the Ducks instantly became the team to beat.
The likes of Michigan, Stanford, UCLA and USC had caught his attention during the spring evaluation period, but Oregon -- an appealing destination for prospects from the islands following the success of Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota -- was always believed to be the dream school and that proved true over the weekend when the 6-foot, 190-pound prospect from Mililani, Hawaii, committed to the Ducks while on a visit to campus.
"I just know it's where the Lord is guiding me," Malepeai said. "My favorite part of the visit was talking to Chris Young, who is in charge of academics for student-athletes, and also catching up with coach (Gary) Campbell and coach (Mark) Helfrich.
"They have a fast-paced offense and run the spread, which is something I'm already used to. I know it's a lot to learn at the next level, but I'm excited."
Malepeai saw his stock soar the last few months as he drew visits from coaches nearly every day of the evaluation period. Campbell and Erik Chinander led the way for the Ducks, and that proved to be a major reason why the dynamic back felt comfortable enough to end his recruitment.
Malepeai visited Stanford in early May and some thought the Cardinal had built a nice lead given the academic appeal. His initial plan called for official visits this fall to places like Michigan, USC, UCLA and Washington, but Malepeai saw enough in Eugene to make the early decision without the built-up drama.
"I am done," he said. "I chose Oregon because it was the best fit for me and my family."
Malepeai, the No. 2-rated prospect in Hawaii for the 2016 class according to Rivals.com, had 1,337 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior last fall, guiding high-octane Mililani to a state title.