Tennessee wasn’t the only team with a heated rivalry game this weekend.
Volunteer commitment Nico Iamaleava’s Warren High School faced off against Downey High School. Both schools are in Downey, CA, just about a mile away from each other, leading to the heated rivalry.
With 32 seconds to go in the second half, the 6-foot-5 and 195 pound quarterback was forced to go to the locker room with an unknown injury. In his absence, little brother Madden Iamaleava stepped in to lead the offense.
It was a scary scene, to say the least, for Tennessee fans and Warren fans alike. For Iamaleava, he was not going to give up and sit out the rest of the game, injured or not.
“What really speaks about his character is that he didn’t have to come back in,” Iamaleava’s head coach Kevin Pearson told The Press-Telegram. “In about five or six weeks, he’s going to be in Tennessee and he’s going to be competing for a starting job there. A lot of kids would pack it in and say I don’t need this high school stuff, I’m ready for the next level.”
With an attitude like that, it’s no wonder Iamaleava has positioned himself as one of the top prospects in the class of 2023. If he brings that to Knoxville, there is no question he will win over Tennessee’s locker room.
On top of showcasing his toughness and character Friday night, Iamaleava left no question as to his arm talent.
Iamaleava ran out onto the field to “overrated” chants ringing loud from the Downey student section. These chants did not last long.
The five-star signal caller threw for four touchdowns, 243 yards, and one interception in the contest. The senior also had 50 rushing yards.
The five-star prospect will be an early enrollee into Tennessee. With his character and skill level, it is no surprise why Volunteer fans are excited for his arrival.