Four days after landing his first football scholarship offer from the Big Ten Conference, La‘akea Kapoi now has a second.
Indiana had taken an interest in the Saint Louis offensive lineman in early August, Kapoi said. The Hoosiers stayed in touch and formalized that interest on Tuesday morning with the 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior. He also has offers from Arizona State, Hawaii, Michigan, Syracuse and UNLV.
“It feels amazing. This morning I woke up to 20 notifications and messages on Twitter. Christmas came early. If they send graphics to me, it shows they’ve seen my film or have interest in me,” said Kapoi, who has a 3.5 grade-point average.
Michigan made its offer on Friday. Kapoi knew he was on the radar of more teams beyond the West Coast, but didn’t know if any of it would bear fruit. Darren Hiller, Indiana’s run-game coordinator and offensive line coach, was the point of contact.
“He followed me back on Twitter about a month ago, I’m pretty sure. He hasn’t really talked to me. I sent my Hudl, some videos. He texted me this morning and sent a long paragraph to see if I was interested,” Kapoi said during a lunch break from virtual classes. “We had a conversation about the school, and toward the end, he said he liked my film. The offensive coordinator liked my film and they decided to offer me. It’s a Big Ten school so it’s a big plus as well.”
Kapoi has a long memory. Oldest brother Micah Kapoi played at Wisconsin, where he is a graduate assistant.
“I don’t really know too much about that area. I’ve seen them play Wisconsin when my brother played. Their offense is very balanced between pass and run. It’s four-wide and shotgun. They don’t have tight ends,” La‘akea Kapoi said.
The latest “dead period” ended as of midnight, Tuesday morning, allowing recruiters to contact juniors and younger athletes. Kapoi has a workout station at home, where he can work out with brother Alema, a defensive lineman at Hawaii, and Micah.
“I’m in a break right now. I get some food and catch up on texts. I’ll probably make something. Probably leftover dinner. We had spaghetti and meatballs. I stay away from the Parmesan cheese. I like it, but I don’t want to eat it too much,” said Kapoi, who recently dropped 10 pounds. “When I was in Vegas, when we played St. Thomas Aquinas, I was eating so much, I gained 10 more pounds, so I wanted to get back to 295, watching what I eat.”
Once class is done at 2:30 p.m., he will have time to work out before hitting his homework assignments. Meanwhile, the phone keeps chiming.
“I expect to get more interest from the coaches who are recruiting me. I’m not sure if they’re going to offer me. I just have to earn what I deserve and keep working from there,” he said. “It’s a long day and my brain’s kind of fried after school. I’ll need a break.”
Kapoi sent high fives to some of his favorite people.
“Shout out to my O-line coaches, Coach (James) Hall and Coach (Rob) Crowell. Coach (Brian) Derby. My immediate family and my Saint Louis family. Coach Ava (Faipea).”