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Ex-Husky Pei, Malloe's Son Join Hawaii as Safeties

The former UW player appeared in 10 games last season as a second-year freshman.
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Meki Pei proved he could play on Saturdays for the University of Washington football team, even without a scholarship, but in the end that wasn't nearly enough to satisfy him.

This week, Hawaii news outlets reported the 5-foot-11, 175-pound redshirt freshman from Honolulu has transferred to his hometown University of Hawaii and begun working out with the Rainbow Warriors, now coached by their ex-quarterback Timmy Chang.

At the same time, Hawaii picked up another safety in Isaiah Malloe, son of former UW assistant coach and safety/linebacker Ikaika Malloe who will immediately join the program, as well.

Pei left the Huskies after appearing in 10 games last season, primarily on special teams. He wasn't credited with any tackles.

He took part in spring practice for Kalen DeBoer's staff, but he had come to the UW at urging of the older Malloe, who's now at UCLA following the coaching change. He felt he didn't have the same connection with the new staff.

“Washington wasn’t the place for me, and I already had a good relationship with Coach [Jacob] Yoro,” Pei told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, referring to the Warriors’ new defensive coordinator. “With Coach Timmy Chang coming in, it was an opportunity to start fresh with a new head coach, I guess, and come home and represent the home state."

Pei had followed his father to the UW, also named Meki Pei. The older Pei played two seasons on scholarship as a 6-foot-1, 225-pound safety and linebacker for the Huskies in the 1990s. Stuck on the depth chart, he left Jim Lambright's program during fall camp in 1994, went home and began a long career in the airline industry

Coming out of Iolani High School, the younger Pei reportedly turned down a scholarship offer from Hawaii in order to become a preferred walk-on at the UW, emboldened after winning defensive MVP honors in the Polynesian Bowl.

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He rotated between the second and the third teams while with the Huskies and came up with 7 tackles in the 2021 spring game. However, a lack of speed presumably seemed to prevent him from challenging for a starting job. 

The younger Malloe had a highly productive career at suburban Seattle's Kennedy Catholic High School, displaying the same sort of tenacity that made his father a Husky football player coming out of Hawaii. 

However, Malloe presumably had his limitations as neither the UW nor UCLA, with his father on staff at each place, pursued him. He was committed to Oregon State briefly as a preferred walk-on. 

Malloe will try to show them that everyone was wrong about him in not handing over a scholarship. 

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