Hawaii's Alama-Francis a late bloomer

Originally recruited to play basketball, Hawaii defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis is a rising star in the senior class and makes his debut on Mel Kiper's Top 25 Big Board.

Updated: December 27, 2006, 10:38 AM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN.com
The lone newcomer to my Top 25 Big Board is Hawaii defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis. A late bloomer, Alama-Francis -- who originally was recruited to play basketball at Hawaii -- did not even play football in high school. I highlighted him last week in Personnel Points for a reason: He's a great athlete, a hard worker and has been a key performer on an improved Hawaii defense.

The next update to my Top 25 Big Board will be Jan. 4.

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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst