Stud JUCO teammates check out Louisville

Peni Fiuangaihetau

Their names might be hard to pronounce but Phoenix (AZ) C.C. defensive line standouts Peni Fiuangaihetau (6-2, 270) and Tevita Finau (6-5, 275) are both well accomplished prospects. Both Fiungaihetau and Finau made surprise visits to Louisville last weekend and could provide the Cardinals the help they need up front next season.

Peni Fiungaihetau and Tevita Finau were two of Louisville's most physically imposing official visitors last weekend. Louisville coaches hope the trip to the ‘Ville will ultimately convince both prospects to play for the Cardinals next season.

"Peni is a transfer from Weber State and this is his second year playing for us," Phoenix coach Mark Mejia said. "He's a two-time all-conference, all-region player. He's real quick off the ball and he's been a dominant interior guy for us. He's really good with his hands, plays with good leverage—explosive. He's a little bit undersized heighth-wise but he's a tough kid. He can play on the edge but most teams are looking at him as an interior guy."

Louisville and California are the two major BCS-level players for Fiuangaihetau. Utah is also in the mix. "Those are the main two (Louisville and California) and Utah is coming in to see him today," Mejia said. "Those are the main three that have been on him. He's going to Cal for a visit Dec. 12."


Tevita Finau

Finau is also being courted by California but is also considering UCLA and Oregon. He'll visit California next month and will make at least one other Pac-10 official visit before making a decision.

"He's a two-time region player of the year," said Meija. "Last year he was trying to leave (Phoenix College). He had offers from you name it all across the country and then ended up signing with West Virginia but didn't get all his grades situated and couldn't leave. He came back and did real well this year and kind of re-open everything up. He's supposed to go to Cal as well Dec. 12. He's either going to visit UCLA or Oregon too."

Louisville's connection to the two Phoenix College standouts is, of course, Delgado, a former coach at California with strong ties in the area.

"They both said they had a good time out there and they liked the coaching staff," Meija said. "Obviously the experience with the game watching them be able to win would have been better. They said they enjoyed the game and had a good time there. They're just kind of going to wait and see. They really have a good relationship with Coach (Ken) Delgado.

"There's obviously a good relationship from before when he was at Cal, especially Tevita. He's done a good job with these kids understanding their background and what is important to them. He connects well with them and that's why they had interest in tripping to Louisville."

Maija believes both players will make an immediate impact at the next level.

"They'll come in and they'll start," Mejia said. "Peni is an undersized guy that somebody is going to get a steal with. He dominates one on one blocks so well because he's so quick off the ball. And who knows how good Tevita could be once he commits himself to the weightroom? He's been dominant in this league without being committed to the weightroom."

"They are two of the hardest working guys we have on the team," Mejia said.

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