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June 26, 2008At a massive 6-foot-4, 280-pounds, Wade Keliikipi certainly has the beef to plug the middle at defensive tackle. The Waianae High School rising senior would like to keep bringing athleticism to the table as well, and has been busy working hard this off-season at maintaining his strength and improving his speed. Keliikipi is sitting on one scholarship offer at home, but a number of other programs - including Oregon State - are checking in with him as he goes through his off-season schedule.
"We have practice and spring ball going on right now and it's been going good," Keliikipi said. "In the mornings, I've been training with my uncle, lifting weights, and in the afternoons it's all football with running and conditioning. I've been working on my speed and I've been studying in summer school too."
Hometown Hawaii has known about Keliikipi for quite some time and have a scholarship offer on the table for the huge lineman. But other schools are getting wind of his abilities and his mailbox has seen plenty of action as of late.
"I've gotten letters from Colorado, Oregon State, Oregon, Florida, and Cal," Keliikipi said. "Hawaii has offred, but I want to go to the mainland. All these schools have said that they're going to watch me my senior season and how my academics are going."
Assistant coach Mike Cavanaugh dropped by Waianae High School during his tour of the Hawaiian Islands during the evaluation period and while Keliikipi knows Coach Cav via family connections, he is just starting to learn about the Beavers program.
"Coach Cavanaugh is a really cool coach and he knew my brother when my brother played at (Hawaii) and Coach Cavanaugh was there," Keliikipi said. "I really don't know too much about (OSU) yet, but it's a good college."
As is the case with most Hawaiians, expect a decision to come later rather than sooner with Keliikipi as he doesn't have any plans to visit anywhere unofficially this summer. But he's sure of one thing - he would like to play his college football at its highest level and he has his eyes aimed high.
"I just want to move away from here and I already know anywhere (on the mainland) should be fine," Keliikipi said. "I'm definitely going to play out the year and then see what happens."