Utah gained one Louisiana recruit Wednesday, but missed on another prospect from the bayou with Beehive State roots.
Sione Palelei, who lived in Utah until moving to Louisiana when he was 9-years-old, committed to LSU on Wednesday. Before relocating Palelei migrated through the East little league system, and would have played for the Leopards.
“Boo is goin to LSU!” Niel Robbins, a defensive back who graduated from East last season, tweeted.
“Good… he can come home now and play for his leopards and his childhood buddies!!” East coach Brandon Matich quickly responded.
Utah was the first program to extend an offer to Palelei, and having grown up in Salt Lake City, many believed the Utes were a major contender to land the star.
“Utah was my first offer and it came during the summer,” Palelei told James Smith of Nola.com. “My uncle is an assistant coach up there and he called my dad to extend an offer. He handed me the phone and my uncle told me. I was shocked at first. It was one of my big dreams to just get my first offer. It was something I always wanted to achieve.”
BYU offered shortly thereafter, and was thought to be in the running for Palelei’s services, too.
As of Wendesday, Palelei maintained offers from the Utes and Cougars along with Arizona State, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Nevada, Pittsburgh, Southern Mississippi and Washington State.
According to Louisiana Football Magazine, Palelei was clocked at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at 5-foot-10 and 200-pounds. He currently plays for another East — East Ascension High School in Gonzales, Louisiana. Here are his junior season highlights.