The pandemic meant limited recruiting by college football, but June is turning into a bonanza for Kahuku players.
With unofficial on-campus visits allowed since June 1, Hawaii has pounded the rock and come up with offers to three Red Raiders, and a preferred walk-on opportunity to a fourth.
Liona Lefau, Malaki Te‘o, Leonard Ah You and Zion Ah You gathered with former Kahuku standouts now playing for the Rainbow Warriors on Thursday afternoon. Lefau, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound defensive end, just completed his sophomore year. He also has offers from Utah, Wisconsin and Virginia.
Lefau was at Daniel Inouye International Airport on Friday morning with his mother, Summer. They are flying to Austin, Texas, where Lefau will be in the Longhorns’ prospects camp.
“I might check out TCU, too,” Lefau said. “This camp will be my first prospects camp. I’ll go out there and compete, and enjoy my time.”
Leonard Ah You, a 6-2, 195-pound linebacker, has an offer from Arizona State.
Te‘o is a 6-1, 225-pound junior. Defensive lineman Zion Ah You had an offer from Valparaiso and spent his senior season, after prep football was cancelled in Hawaii, playing for a high school in Washington. Lefau was also on that Sammamish squad.
“They would thrive in UH’s system,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. “They know how to play island style football, which is hard hitting and tough football.”
The restrictions on college coaches made things choppy, but Carvalho provided his input along the way.
“It’s long overdue. I told UH about these guys at the beginning of the year. I know due to COVID, athletes couldn’t visit, so when UH was able to invite athletes, then they made it official,” he said.
Former Red Raiders currently with UH include Nalu Emmerson and Ra Elkington. Another former island player who greeted the Kahuku prospects was Isaiah Tufaga, a former Saint Louis standout. He transferred to UH in 2019 after a brief stay at Oregon State.
The possibility of Kahuku’s top players landing in Manoa is there.
“I think we would have a good team,” Lefau said. “We have to see how it plays out.”
After the Texas camp, Lefau and his mother will fly to to the Beehive State for unofficial visits with Utah and BYU.
“The process is picking up and everything is cool,” Lefau said.