Tausili Akana has played his cards well.
More than well. Each move by the junior from Hauula has been golden. Midas touch golden. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker capped a busy summer with offers from three SEC football programs: Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn. It was a cascading effect, with Georgia offer on July 26, Tennessee one day later, and Auburn a day after that.
Those followed an official offer by Clemson on July 17. In all, the former Kamehameha and Wasatch (Utah) player has 33 offers. He is currently enrolled at Skyridge (Utah) for the semester after being enrolled in his home district school, Kahuku, last spring.
The DOE and OIA recently announced that fall sports are postponed to Sept. 24. Akana had already enrolled at Skyridge during the summer in case of a postponement or another cancellation of football season.
“I’m speechless. I can’t believe what is going on back home. I have many friends back home and feel so bad for them. Hopefully, they figure it out and allow high school sports to continue and have a full season,” Akana said.
The most recent opportunities were built on relationships. Akana connected with Georgia linebackers coach Dan Lanning, Tennessee linebackers coach Brian Luc Jean-Mary and Auburn director of recruiting Darren Uscher. Akana now has seven offers from the SEC, largely considered the most powerful football conference in the country.
“Yes, every SEC offer is crazy. That conference is so competitive and strong. There is a lot of history and great players that come from the SEC conference. Sitting in the head coaches’ offices and talking with them face to face is something special. I always ask to take a picture with the head coaches,” he said.
Akana and his father, Brandyn, have been proactive about the recruiting process despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brandyn Akana, a former college basketball assistant coach, understands the terrain well.
“I am fortunate to have parents that understand the recruiting process,” Tausili Akana said. “My dad always says, ‘If you want something, you need to go and get it.’ It’s been a crazy but memorable summer for me. I wish all student-athletes can experience what I experienced. This recruiting process is just the beginning for me. There is still a lot that I need to do.”
Tausili Akana, Skyridge (Utah), 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