LYLE MOEVAO AND MOM SHELIA circa 2007
BEAVER NATION AND recruiting fans by now have undoubtedly read the news from yesterday, broken by Scout.com's Chris Fetters, that OSU added fast chargin' DT Happy Iona to their '10 class. Iona first began flying high on the Beavs after his OSU camp experience. This week, Lyle Moevao's mom had a noteworthy impact on the 6-2, 280 pounder's decision to go black and orange.
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Happy Iona and family members arrived in Corvallis on Tuesday of this week. Iona's family has been very involved in his decision making process, and in recruiting, one of the bromides is this -- the influence that moms have over a prospect's decision generally supercedes the opinions of anyone else.
With Iona on Tuesday, there was also an X Factor. Grandma had come with to Corvallis.
IONA'S GRANDMOTHER DOESN'T speak much English -- Iona himself is still learning the language.
And that's where Lyle Moevao 's mom, Shelia Alofaitoli, came up big.
"(Moevao's) mom was down there with her the whole day," said Gavin Kralik, head man at Spanaway's Bethel High. "That made her feel very, very comfortable."
IF YOU'VE GOT mom and grandma on board, it's usually just a matter of time in recruiting.
Happy and his family traveled home from OSU later that same day, slept on it, and on Wednesday Iona made his verbal commitment.
"His trip down there was top notch...The way Oregon State handled it was great, from (the OSU coaches) to Moevao's mom, it was a team effort," said Kralik.
BEAVER COACHES Mike Riley, Danny Langsdorf and d-line coach Joe Seumalo, the latter being one whom Iona formed a very tight bond with during the Beavs' camp, said Kralik, were all closely involved with his recruitment. And that included this week when the Iona clan came to Oregon State.
"The way they handled the whole thing, not pressing with his family, was outstanding," said Kralik. "From talking to Happy's family, I think Oregon State did an outstanding job of recruiting him."
IONA, SAYS FETTERS, has as high a ceiling from the '10 Evergreen State class as anyone.
"The Beavers are getting a heck of a prospect that carries with him as much upside as any player coming out of the state of Washington this year," said Fetters. "Iona is definitely one of the top players in the state of Washington, and if it wasn't for some struggles with school, I believe he would have a ton more offers at this point. His motor is always going, and even at 280 pounds he can play either inside or outside -- he is that athletic."
ON THE SUBJECT of academics and qualification, Kralik says he's very optimistic, though still cautiously so, that Iona will be on the field in Corvallis for fall camp about a year from now.
"He has a good shot at doing that, but he does still have a bit of work to do. He's got to have a great year, like he did finishing up last year," said Kralik.
Iona hadn't begun to really work on his English until just this past year and that hurt him in the classroom. But as Iona has continued to become more comfortable with the English language, his grades have skyrocketed, says Kralik, noting that he's started to get some A's.
A subject that Moevao's mom, and Iona's grandmother, no doubt discussed this past week in Corvallis.