Sunday, March 24, 2013
Texas makes mark on Teuhema brothers
By Max Olson
The brothers are a package deal. Always have been, always will be. If you want a serious shot at 2015 offensive lineman Maea Teuhema, you’ll need to offer a scholarship to 2014 defensive end Sione Teuhema as well.
And Texas did just that on Saturday. Not long after its Sophomore Day event began, the Keller (Texas) standouts made their way to Mack Brown’s office to pick up their offers.
“I thought that was cool. He sat us down in his office and told us straight up that he was offering us,” Maea said. “I didn’t know we’d get offered, but I had a good feeling by the way they were talking to us.”
Going into the day, the Teuhemas weren’t exactly a household name to those following Longhorns recruiting. But make no mistake, Texas’ coaching staff knew what they were bringing in and were ready to make a strong pitch.
Offering Maea was a no-brainer. Before the day’s scheduled tour stops began, the offensive tackle prospect checked in at 6-foot-4½ and 344 pounds.
And yes, he’s only a sophomore. He was the second 2015 lineman to receive an offer Saturday after guard Aaron Garza (Sherman, Texas/Sherman) committed to Texas to start off the day.
As he watched Texas' scrimmage inside DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, Maea was impressed by the pace and speed of the Longhorns’ new-look, no-huddle offense. The new system is a demanding one for its offensive linemen and their stamina.
“I have to get in shape,” Maea said. “They kept the defense on their heels.”
Maea said he caught Stacy Searles’ attention while participating in a Texas summer camp last year, and the offensive line coach expressed serious interest in the week leading up to Sophomore Day.
“He said he liked my film that he watched, and that I’m pretty good off the ball and everything,” Maea said.
But older brother Sione is not just some throw-in. The 6-foot-4, 211-pound defensive end is being recruited as an edge rusher and even evoked some strong comparisons from defensive ends coach Oscar Giles during the visit.
“They compared me to Brian Orakpo, because of my weight and my speed,” Sione said. “He said I’m exactly like him.”
He had no qualms with showing up on a day devoted to 2015 prospects. It’s Texas, he said, and it’s a big deal. Sione enjoyed getting some quality time with the coaching staff and seeing a school he’d been a fan of for a long time.
“Texas is way up there,” he said. “It’s always been my top school.”
The duo now holds offers from UT, TCU, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Washington State. Their guardian, Robert Taliaferro, said Oregon is close to offering and LSU, Oklahoma and Arizona State could be, too.
The list of schools showing legitimate interest is much, much longer. The Teuhemas certainly aren’t a secret on the recruiting trail.
“Basically, we’ve heard from everyone except for A&M, Alabama and the Florida schools,” Taliaferro said.
The brothers took this trip together because, in the end, they’ll make their decision together.
The Teuhemas will set aside recruiting soon and devote their full attention to spring ball. But after that, it’ll be time to start closing in on a decision. They plan to announce together sometime this summer.
“We’ve always wanted to stay together and play football together,” Sione said.
Texas gave them that option on Saturday and will be a serious contender. There may be many more offers to come, and that could mean their final decision date will change. No matter what, their plan will not.
“I’m really excited about it,” Maea said. “Wherever he goes, I go.”