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California prep lineman says he’ll play for Warriors

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The Hawaii football team has added a fourth pledge to the 2014 recruiting class.

Samuela “Sammy” Lauaki, a lineman from Cathedral High in Los Angeles, has made an oral commitment to play for the Warriors. He will sign a letter of intent on Feb. 5, the first day of the 2014 signing period.

“He’s a very coachable kid, very talented,” said Chris Maumalanga, a former NFL player who now coaches the defensive linemen at Cathedral. “He’s very humble, but hard-working at the same time.”

Lauaki is 6 feet 4, 250 pounds.

At Cathedral, he is used as a left tackle on offense, a defensive tackle in passing situations, and a defensive end in the base scheme.

Maumalanga said Lauaki projects to play offensive tackle if he weighs around 300 pounds in college or “anywhere on the defensive line” if he is in the 280-pound range.

“He’s field strong, if that makes sense,” Maumalanga said. “What he does on the field sometimes shows more strength than what he does in the weight room.”

Lauaki has endured family hardship in recent years. Four years ago, his father died of cancer. Two years ago, Lauaki’s mother was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, Maumalanga said. She recently completed a cycle of chemotherapy.

“It’s a very, very challenging scenario,” Maumalanga said of Lauaki, who has seven siblings.

Lauaki was born in Hawaii, and several relatives live here.

“He’s excited about the opportunity,” Maumalanga said. “I’m really proud of him.”

Utah, California, Nevada, Fresno State and San Jose State are among the schools that have shown interest in Lauaki.

Earlier, the Warriors received 2014  pledges from Daniel Lewis, a defensive back/running back from New Iberia (La.) High; Punahou quarterback Larry “Tui” Tuileta; and Farrington safety/linebacker Manly Williams.

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