With an offer from Oklahoma, Tausili Akana is in rarefied territory.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound outside linebacker now has 30 scholarship offers before his junior year begins. That may be a record for a Hawaii high school scholar-athlete.
“Oklahoma is a very reputable school. They’re known for football and play in a very tough conference,” Akana said. “It’s a Nike Jumpman sponsored school. I like the coaching staff and what they do on defense.”
Assistant coach Jamar Cain was the primary connection for Akana.
“They were hoping I would make it out to campus, but with my travel schedule, I wasn’t able to make it,” he said, noting a summer barnstorming tour that ended with an unofficial visit to Nebraska, where sister Keonilei Akana plays for the Huskers volleyball squad.
Last year, he transferred from Kamehameha to Wasatch, where an uncle is an assistant coach. At that point, in July of 2020, Akana had four scholarship offers.
He had an outstanding season, leading to 26 more offers since. Add on his performance at a number of showcase camps, combines and Pylon tournaments have opened eyes, and Akana has drawn offers from the Pac-12 to the SEC. He has also become the 104th-ranked player in ESPN’s recent Top 300 ranking for the class of 2023. Kahuku’s Liona Lefau is also in the Top 300 (No. 297).
Today, he is enrolled at Skyridge (Utah).
“We’re awaiting an official announcement from the OIA and DOE,” Akana said.
With no official word from the DOE and OIA that fall sports — and football, in particular — are a go, Akana is not certain whether he will play in Hawaii or Utah. The OIA has produced a fall schedule that includes interleague play with the ILH, and coaches across Oahu have been busy scheduling scrimmages, which will begin on July 29.
He has indicated that it would be easier to play football if he is already enrolled on the mainland before re-enrolling at Kahuku. During the spring semester, he was enrolled at Kahuku and did his schoolwork online.
One thing is certain: there will be more travel before the season officially begins.
“College campuses are currently in a dead period, but they open up during the last week of July. I plan to visit a few more schools,” Akana said.
Tausili Akana, Kamehameha/Wasatch, OLB, 6-4, 225
Arizona State 6/30/20
Oregon State 9/8/20
Utah State 9/14/20
Oklahoma State 11/16/20
Washington State 12/25/20
Ole Miss 3/3/21
Mississippi State 5/27/21
Texas A&M 6/5/21
Ohio State 6/9/21
San Diego State 6/11/21
OMG, the suspense must be killing the RR faithful.
“Dear Lord, please make Tausili play for the Red Raiders and forget about that Utah team that would get SASA from our Red Raiders. Please let him see the wisdom in staying home and not returning to that school with all the talent and nothing to show for it, well at least for football. Fill his heart with joy and love when he decides to be a Red Raider. Through you all things are possible. Oh yeah, please help our Red Raiders pass the ball a little more this year. If can. Amen
Wow! What’s up with the hating!?!? You must’ve got hit hard by one of those kahuku players before to be so butt hurt by them
@#1 Lol. That was funny!
IMHO, I think he should play for his Hometown Kahuku Red Raiders.
The D.O.E. , City & State needs to get their act together and stop having parents & kids waiting on decisions that is not that hard. How can you have coaches & kids practicing, putting together scrimmages & game schedules but still not give the go ahead? SMH……
Trust me…we’re ok.
You never know, he might be just what you need to beat St. Lulu.
“Most loving Lord, please give us the strength, the wisdom and the power to keep Tausili here as a Red Raider. Let us come together and SASA the Heathen’s from Kalaepohaku. We must exorcise them of their cheating recruiting ways, throwing off the competitive balance of HS football in Hawaii. You are good all the time and all the time you is good. Oh yeah, please add Millilani to the Heathen list as they recruit also. Amen.”
What’s wrong with the recruiting, it was always there with the Private Schools from way back, just that Saint Louis Recruits better then the rest of all the other Schools from the ILH and even some OIA Schools, and who doesn’t want to play for the best High School Coaches from Saint Louis that has Ron and Cal Lee, so stop whining and just go with the flow, just try harder.
That is one long a$$ sentence.
A recent article shared that LULU has 300 players.
For 3 levels.
Only can put 11 on the field at one time.
Wake up parents.
I know you love wearing those Lulu sublimated jerseys (some even have going out LULU jerseys) along with the stickers on your car but no count if your son is waving the towel on the sideline. Which many are.
Look at the QB receiving all that recognition nationally and not smelling the field.
There are good programs with good coaches in D1 and D2 that you could impact and gain exposure. Or even another OPEN team.
You must be LULU thinking Kahuku doesn’t recruit either LOL…stop being so blind and thinking so highly since you guys just do the same…or wait you just mad because they take all your kids and you can’t keep them anymore LOL
Good points. The top D-lineman in the Pac-12 is a local boy from……….. Pearl City High? A Charger? Yes sir!! UW’s Zion Tupuola-Fetui. If you’re good, have the grades, test scores, and character, the scouts will find you. Kalani High graduate (yes Kalani) Sione Kava played at Oregon after 2 years at a JUCO.
As a parent…gotta say the coaching at St Louis is very very good. You get to compete against some of the very best players and still get exposure (practice is filmed). Other programs (public & private) must find ways to attract their students…in my mind Public school has similar facilities, costs less…so something must not be as attractive.
@ CrusaderDad & ILH
Maybe you can clear up the confusion?
Why does some people admit that STL recruits & some people say they don’t recruit; kids just want to go there?
??? – fair question. I think it comes down to what is the definition of or that persons perception of recruiting. A lot of players fall into a parent or player runs into a Coach, asks about the school and the Coach encourages them to apply or check out the school. To me, that’s not recruiting.
When I think of recruiting, I think about it like college football recruiting, a Coach identifies you, evaluates you as a prospect or recruit then makes some offer. I don’t see this happening. It hasn’t happened to the starters and parents who I know.
Also, there are a lot of legacy players – Grandpa, Dad, Uncles, etc played. There are a lot that don’t get into KS or Pun…as a KS grad, my son has had a great experience at St Louis.
You’re right, everyone has their own perception & opinion.
But the Dictionary meaning of RECRUITING is:
To find suitable people and get them to join a Team, company, etc. : to form or build (a team, army, etc.) by getting people to join. : to persuade (someone) to join you in some activity or to help you.
A lot of people think recruiting is when you offer a scholarship or financial aid! But it’s much more than that; It’s simply getting or persuading a kid to visit, check out your school, team, practice etc.. that is considered RECRUITING!
It is legal in the ILH and I think it should be legal in the Open division to keep it competitive.
St. Louis needs to play a national schedule! Don’t take most of the best players from around here then turn around and play against the teens. Play IMG and some of those teams across the country then see if you’ll be undefeated at the end of every season. Not to mention by the time the kids are seniors they’re almost 20 years old LOL! That’s crazy!
@??? Then yes….all private school by default have to recruit…and to that degree so do all public schools, as they inform/encourage students to register. Again, yes all private school need to recruit/attract students as a general business practice.
But the way that recruiting is addressed in general conversation is that these students are mainly or only there for football. Football is an important consideration, but academically StL has a solid curriculum.
I think that it would be more believable to say that students attend Lulu because it is an all boys catholic school than touting about its academics.
Lets be real here.
With regards to recruiting, just by its nature, all private schools have to recruit.
But when you win, players want to be a part of that which is what we are seeing at Lulu.
But no one talks about the MONEY$$$$$.
Who is paying for the top tier recruits that attend Lulu?
How much $$ to pay for those recruits and the second tier group of all-stars?
That is the conversation. Not all of these kids families can afford the entire tuition.
Anyone want to share?
@ ILoveHawaii – I stand by my comments that StL has a solid academic curriculum. I worked in a mainland college admissions and that’s the general impression from many colleges.
I know a lot of parents that get financial aid or apply for specific scholarship programs that have different focus and criteria. This is no different from every other private school and like college. I know a few who pay between $5-8k annually vs $15-16k. When I coached at Punahou (decades ago) there were similar situations and from talking to people (alumni) close to their programs there are some that may pay under $10k.
We pay around $12-14k, have been lucky to get academic/merit based aid.
So that’s a huge competitive advantage for public schools.
CrusaderDad, someone once told me that Jordan Taamu, dillon gabriel and Mackenzie Milton all attended STL before transferring, is that correct?
@ SlickWilly – I’m not aware any of those boys attended StL…but they may have trained with Coach Vinnie Passas at StL…