49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 25, 2010
Iupati: I like to destroy a lot of people

Idaho's Mike Iupati, the guy many observers think will end up in a 49ers uniform, just spoke at the podium. I think the bottom line with Iupati is this: If a team has him play left guard, his position at Idaho, he will come in and be very good from Day 1. If they want want him to kick out to tackle, it will be more of a leap of faith. Iuapati said he felt confident he could player either spot well, but said that last month's Senior Bowl was the first time he tried tackle or even right guard for that matter. Iuapati measured 6-5, 331 earlier today.

"A lot of people told me I have to be versatile," Iupati said. " And they know that I am a pretty good athlete. It will come naturally to me. I just have to learn it ... a little time with it and (I'll) get it down, easy."

Ipuati ran into trouble in the Senior Bowl game when, at right guard, he showed a tendency to grab onto defenders. Iupati said "that's not me." In fact, he said his punching ability -- he has very long arms and expects 30 or so reps on the bench press -- is his strong suit. "I do strike," he said. "I have a very physical punch."

Another question about Iuapati is his personality. He comes across as very mellow and teams are wondering whether he has the mean streak that, say, a Steve Hutchinson has. Iupati certainly didn't have an easy upbringing. He and his family moved to his aunt's house in Anaheim when he was a teenager. Five family members lived in her garage with Iuapati and an uncle sharing a bed. Iuapti said he may be laid back off the field, but he's not that way on it. He described himself as very competitive. "I like to destroy a lot of people," he said.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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