Sports

Fangupo Switches Commitment, Inks With Oregon St.

February 3, 2016, 2:30 PM HST
* Updated February 3, 2:23 PM
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Kealakehe graduate David Fangupo. Cerritos College photo.

Kealakehe graduate David Fangupo. Cerritos College photo.

It was a last minute change of heart for Cerritos College’s David Fangupo.

Last July, after completing his freshman season at the two-year school, he announced that he was giving his verbal commitment to the University of Utah. Just eight hours before the official start of National Signing Day, however, he changed his decision and chose Oregon State, who offered him a full-ride scholarship.

Fangupo signed his National Letter of Intent today on the opening day of the signing period. He, along with some of his Cerritos teammates, celebrated the completion of their seasons and their next journey with family and friends.

How late did Fangupo make his decision to switch from Utah to Oregon State? “It was probably about 11 o’clock last night,” he said. “I called coach Lewis Powell and de-committed from [Utah]…I had to go with Oregon [State], though. The vibe and the people and the love there was just overwhelming.”

Fangupo’s relationship with Powell stems back to his initial recruitment at the University of Hawai’i, where the former Kealakehe High School standout initially gave his commitment. A number of setbacks kept him from being able to attend the Manoa campus, and Cerritos College because a vital place for Fangupo to keep his football hopes alive.

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“I needed a little boost, you know? A little kick in the butt,” Fangupo explained. “When I came here, it opened up my eyes…It helped my realize that I wanted to go to Division I and I wanted to have someone else pay for my school and pay for my housing.”

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At Kealakehe, Fangupo was a force in the trenches, but made his name as a punishing full back that showed a rare display of power and speed for someone who crossed 340 pounds. Playing at Cerritos College has confined him to a more consistent role on the defensive line, something that he will continue at Oregon State, but his ability to run the football wasn’t lost on his coaches.

“I carried the ball a couple of times down there at the goal line. It brought back that little high school feeling. I got a couple of touchdowns under my belt,” said Fangupo.

Fangupo currently weighs in at 6-foot-2 and 325 pounds. He accumulated 49 tackles and 7.5 sacks, but also blocked two kicks and picked up an interception last season.

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While the full-ride scholarship will be a big boost to Fangupo, some familiar faces will help, too. Linebacker Manase Hungalu, a 2013 graduate of Kealakehe, just completed his sophomore season with the Beavers. Former Hilo quarterback Drew Kell is also on the team’s roster. He is expected to compete for playing time at wide receiver next season during his sophomore season.

Besides Utah, Fangupo also turned down offers from Arizona and Arizona State.

The opportunity at Cerritos gave Fangupo a much-needed second chance at football and the hope that continuing on to the Division I level will help him fulfill a dream of playing in the National Football League. If that doesn’t pan out, however, he has another goal in mind.

“I’m planning on majoring in sociology,” Fangupo said. “I want to become a counselor for high school students out there in Hawai’i so I can help them further their education and help them know that just because you don’t have a scholarship to go to a big school or if you don’t have the money, you don’t give up on your dream. You can still go to school and still strive to be that athlete that you want to be.”

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