Andrew Iupati making his mark

His brother is imposing San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Mike Iupati, one of the toughest interior linemen in the game. And Humboldt State senior defensive tackle Andrew Iupati is intent on forging his own path to the NFL. "It's good," Iupati told Scout in a telephone interview. "It's a good experience. I'm showing I can play at this level of football against the kids from bigger schools."

Iupati is playing in today's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he can showcase his own abilities.

The powerful 6-foot-1, 310-pounder recorded nine tackles for losses, 5 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery this season for the Lumberjacks.

Iupati initially went to junior college in Huntington Beach, Calif., before enrolling at Oregon on a full scholarship after being recruited by former coach Mike Bellotti.

When Bellotti resigned and Chip Kelly got promoted to head coach, Ipupati decided to transfer to Division II Humboldt State in California for the final two seasons of his eligibility.

During his first season at Humboldt, Iupati registered 46 tackles, four for losses and two quarterback hurries while lining up at nose guard.

He was even more active and productive as a senior.

"You've got to be explosive, big and strong," Iupati said. "You have to get off the ball fast and hard."

Iupati works out with his brother during the offseason, where the two are careful not to injure each other.

At the all-star practices this week, Iupati said he's learned a lot.

"I'm getting my reps in and doing my best to perform well," Iupati said. "It's high-tempo this week. This is like an old-school game: smash-mouth football. The coaches here are outstanding. I've picked up some new things for my game."

Built low to the ground, Iupati shapes up as a strong rotational candidate for the NFL.

"I use my hands to attack and I do the simple things," Iupati said. "I adjust and I've got good hands. No matter who's in front of me, my goal is to beat the man in front of me, play fast and physical and play smash-mouth football. That's basically it. You do that and good things will happen for you and your team."

For more coverage of the NFL, go to profootball.scout.com.

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