Evaluation Plan

Evaluation Plan

"I love Hawaii," Chad Lopati said. "I grew up following them. I love all the Polynesian guys they have and I've always dreamed of going there. The program there is really good and it's only like 15 minutes away. I've been to a bunch of games there and I go to their practices a lot too. I'm real familiar with everyone there. I like the new Hawaii coaches too. It's not too much of a change..."

Chad Lopati, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound middle linebacker/defensive end from Kapolei, Hi., finished his junior season with 96 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.

"I think my speed is good," Lopati said. "I'm a big, stocky guy but I can keep up with the smaller, faster guys.

"I also have a good pursuit to the ball," he said. "I'm a finesse player, but I really want to improve on reading the plays better and have better anticipation."

Lopati says he can bench 335-pounds, squat 465 and has a 36-inch vertical jump.

"I'm being recruited for both linebacker and defensive end, but I'm more comfortable at linebacker," he admitted. "I like the responsibility of playing linebacker and how much is riding on your shoulders at that position."

Lopati has nine scholarship offers and now favors Hawaii slightly over Baylor, Colorado, California and Oregon State. All of his favorites have offered as well as Oregon, Washington, UNLV and San Diego State.

"I love Hawaii," he said. "I grew up following them. I love all the Polynesian guys they have and I've always dreamed of going there. The program there is really good and it's only like 15 minutes away. I've been to a bunch of games there and I go to their practices a lot too. I'm real familiar with everyone there.

"I like the new Hawaii coaches too," he said. "It's not too much of a change and I think they'll be successful too."

Besides Hawaii, the only other school in Lopati's top five that he has already visited is Baylor, where he camped last month. He also attended a camp at Utah.

"The Baylor camp was real good," Lopati said. "I liked getting to learn from their coaches and the competition was good."

The school that is recruiting Lopati the hardest is Colorado. "They send me the most letters," he said. "They just make me feel very welcome and wanted. They said they really want me to visit them and they think that I could make a big impact on the team if I went there."

Another school that Lopati says he's interested in visiting is California. "I'm really thinking about taking an official visit to Cal," he said. "I want to see the facilities and see how I'd feel if I went there.

"Cal just has such great talent," he said. "The competition is amazing and they play at a really high level. They are a great team every year and I just want to learn more about them."

Lopati insists that he's still wide open when it comes to his choices. "I'm looking at every college," he said. "I just want to see what they all have to offer. I want to play for a program where I feel at home and where there is respect between the coaches and the players.

"I'll probably decide during the season," he said. "I'll take a few visits, but won't wait too long to commit."

Another thing that Lopati plans on doing to help him narrow down his choices is watching a lot of college football this season. "I'll be watching all these teams closely," he said. "I want to see how hard they play and how the coaches are on the field and that kind of stuff. I think you can learn a lot about a team by watching them play. That'll definitely be part of my decision."

Lopati says he want to major in criminal justice and reports a 2.7 core GPA, but hasn't taken the SAT or ACT yet.

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