One of the fastest rising prospects on the west coast is defensive end Iuta Tepa (6-3, 238, 4.7) from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. He committed to Hawai'i in late September, but that hasn't stopped other D-I schools from recruiting. The talented defensive end has picked several new offers since September rolled around.
Tepa's tale is the classic story where D-I schools want to see senior footage before tendering offers. According to Tepa, besides Hawai'i, he has received offers from Colorado State, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State.
On the season, Tepa has accounted for 40 plus tackles and 10 sacks while having to battle through double teams.
Recently Tepa took in the UCLA/Stanford game and he plans to take in more as the season goes along.
With all of the recent recruiting attention, Tepa still is committed to Hawai'i, but he is checking out other avenues.
"I chose Hawai'i because they showed a lot of early interest in me and I have a lot of relatives that live there," Tepa said. "My good friend and teammate (linebacker) George Daily-Lyles also committed to Hawai'i.
One of the reasons that UCLA has become a school of interest is personal in nature for Tepa.
"My folks kind of want me to play close to home," Tepa said. "But I keeping my options open."
"The most important factor will be getting a good education," Tepa said. "Then a good football program and good coaching.
"I have been talking to all the coaches of the schools that are recruiting me," Tepa said. "I haven't set any visits yet."
The scouting report on Tepa is he's a hard worker, with good character and makes plays. He does what is asked of him and never complains. He goes about doing his business. He has good size and speed in addition to a very quick first step off the ball make him hard to block.
Tepa also has outstanding versatility. He plays both defensive end spots and also lines up at defensive tackle on third down passing situations. He's also an outstanding special teams player, who scooped up a loose ball after a blocked punt and raced into the end zone for a touchdown.
As a junior, Tepa was an all-league selection after accounting for 110 tackles, eight sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries (one that he returned for a touchdown), and one interception.
Tepa is also solid in the classroom, and carries a 3.3 GPA.