Emerald Faletuipapai (OL/2013) Commits to University of Houston

Top California Offensive Lineman Commits

It's been a great season for senior offensive lineman Emerald Faletuipapai from Gardena Serra High School in California. After anchoring an o-line that paved the way to a 2012 CIF State Championship victory, Faletuipapai decided to take advantage of his scholarship offer from University of Houston that he received last week.

"I called Coach Levine and he didn't answer, so I called the tight ends coach Jamie Christian and told him. He told me to call the Head Coach again because he missed my call and I made my commitment to him (Coach Levine)," Emerald told CLA Sports today.

"Our Head Coach told me that Utah is also interested in me, and so is the University of Washington and Washington State. Washington and Washington State are watching my progress and seeing how my schooling is going and my work ethic," said Faletuipapai. "They haven't hit me up personally but they've been talking to my Head Coach (Scott Altenberg)."

Emerald will likely play on the interior of the offensive line at the next level, but Head Coach Tony Levine left the choice up to the youngster to decide. "He asked me what position I wanted to play, but it doesn't really matter. I would like to play guard, but it doesn't really matter, I think I can handle my own at both guard or tackle," Faletuipapai said.

Coach Levine and staff are obviously excited to land a commitment from a proven winner and CIF State Champion in Faletuipapai. Another great plus for the Cougars is that "Poko," as his friends and family refer to him, stands at 6'7 360 pounds and moves around the field much better than you would think. Watch film of Serra and you can find Emerald running down the field looking for a block time and time again after one of the Cavaliers' big-play guys breaks one into the open.

"He (Coach Levine) said he's excited and he's ready to come see my family in the beginning of January. I'll be making my trip January 11th - 13th," said Emerald.

Although he's firmly committed to the University of Houston at the moment, several other schools have shown interest and at one point Hawaii was high on Faletuipapai's list of favorites.

"I'm really undecided on whether or not I'll take a trip to Hawaii. Coach Norm Chow came by my practice last week. He came by to say hi. That same day, the University of Houston came by and offered me," Emerald told CLA. "My mom thinks it's a good idea and she believes that I'll be blessed with some more offers. She's real cool with me making my own decision."

If you've seen Emerald up close after a Cavaliers' win, you can't help but notice his long brown locks that flow from beneath his helmet during the game. Another thing you recognize immediately is Emerald's size. "My mom's side of the family is tall. That's also where I get my brown hair from. My mom's great-great grandfather was German so that's where I get that from," Emerald proudly exclaimed.

The senior offensive lineman studies hard on and off the field and is ready for college life after high school. As Emerald says, "Right now I'm at a solid 3.0 with my grade point average. I don't think schools should worry about my work ethic. I'm 100% committed to working hard and I got my family standing by me. I'm out here to work and handle my business."

Good luck Poko.