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Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska
Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska cover Utah State athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. Lya Wodraska is on twitter at @LyaWodraska, Steve Luhm is on twitter at @sluhm

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USU Football: Fighting for Tenny Palepoi

Gary Andersen has put more time into Tenny Palepoi's recruitment than almost any other player that he's wooed or tried to woo to Utah State.

It's been an almost three year courtship for the defensive end for Snow College, and one time star at Skyline High. It will end soon, one way or another, as signing day is just a mere few weeks away. And while Utah State is squarely in the thick of his wish list, the Aggies are fighting a battle with heavyweights.

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BYU, Utah and Oregon State are all trying to obtain Palepoi's services. And for good reason. He's big, quick, powerful and a potential game-changer. He's the younger brother of Anton Palepoi, the former UNLV star and NFL veteran of seven years, and the older brother of Daniel Palepoi, who starred at Bingham High this season.

Palepoi visited the Aggies two weeks ago. Last weekend, it was BYU, and he will trip to Utah this weekend.

But there's no doubt that Andersen and his staff have pulled the stops for him. They had a home visit with Palepoi last Sunday, and had three different factions of staff visiting him and his various family in three different places on Monday.

Palepoi, if he committed to Utah State, would be a favorite to start at defensive end next to Al Lapuaho from day one next season. One thing to remember: Palepoi and Lapuaho are lifelong best friends.

Another thing to note: Palepoi's wife is said to have loved the visit to Logan and the family atmosphere.

But Palepoi has grown up a huge fan of the Utes, and that will loom large.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Tony Jones

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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