POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 08, 2010
It doesn't matter if it's a quarterback, a fullback or an offensive lineman.
If you're in the way of Colorado linebackers B.J. Beatty and Michael Sipili, you're going to get hit -- hard.
The two seniors bring a toughness to the field that the entire Buffaloes defense feeds off.
Beatty (Kahuku '06), who started all 10 games he played as a junior, was the Iron Buffalo Award winner among the team's linebackers for hard work, dedication and toughness.
Sipili, a 2006 Damien graduate, has also worked his way into the starting lineup after a strong junior season.
Together, the two are a big part of a Colorado defense that got off to a great start in 2010, holding rival Colorado State to just three points on Saturday.
"That was a big thing for us to start off the season right," Beatty said. "CSU came into our place and beat us last year, so we wanted to make a statement that we're not a team that's going to get pushed around anymore."
That toughness begins with Beatty and Sipili, who are two of the hardest hitters on the team.
Following in the footsteps of former Buffaloes linebacker Jordon Dizon, now with the Detroit Lions, both seniors continue a tradition of Hawaii players at Colorado that bring a physical presence to the team.
"I think a lot of teams recruit Hawaii for the big hitters, guys that run downhill on people," Beatty said. "Just being the physical players we are growing up, I think people know that's the kind of player you're going to get from Hawaii."
Beatty wasn't listed as a starter against the Rams, but made his presence felt with three tackles for loss.
Sipili, who has ascended to the top of the depth chart at middle linebacker, had four solo tackles as he tries to keep the momentum going from his junior year.
They are two of 102 Hawaii high school graduates currently on rosters at Football Bowl Subdivision programs on the mainland.
Beatty is one of 16 Kahuku kids playing major college football, the most of any Hawaii high school.
"Actually, it doesn't surprise me," Beatty said. "There's always great players in Hawaii and I think my senior year, that Kahuku team, I couldn't tell you how many, but we had a lot of guys on that team that went on to play."
The OIA and ILH are both represented by exactly 43 players. The MIL has 12 players and the BIIF is responsible for four.
Sipili and Beatty are two of six kids playing in the Big 12. The Pac-10 leads the way with 41 Hawaii high school graduates, followed by the Mountain West (22) and the Western Athletic Conference (20).
After Kahuku, Kamehameha is next in line with 13 players, followed by Punahou (11), Saint Louis (nine) and Baldwin and Damien (six each).
In all, 26 different high schools are represented in seven conferences. Independent teams Navy (six) and Notre Dame (three) are also well represented.
Colorado, which also has Sione Tau (Damien '07) and Kaiwi Crabb (Punahou '10) on its roster, travels to California this weekend before hosting Hawaii a week later.