Tausili Akana is on the radar and shining brightly.
The incoming Kamehameha freshman linebacker earned defensive MVP honors for grades 8-10 at the All-Poly football camp in Utah and landed three scholarship offers: Hawaii, Brigham Young and Utah. He is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds after growing four inches in the past year, according to his father, former Hawaii basketball player and current Kahuku boys basketball coach Brandyn Akana.
Tausili Akana is the younger brother of heralded volleyball players Braelyn Akana and Keonilei Akana of Kamehameha, and son of former UH volleyball player Joselyn (Robins) Akana.
Dad and mom have been spending more than usual on Akana’s shoes. He now wears size 16.
“Oh, I’ve gone through more than 20 shoes. Sports shoes, church shoes, everything,” he said.
The All-Poly Camp wasn’t his first. He participated in the University of Hawaii camp two weeks ago. All-Poly followed last weekend.
“I was excited and anxious,” Akana said of his first mainland camp. “My feet got better. Change of direction.”
Akana had one basic move before the All-Poly camp, “a straight bull rush.” He now has four new moves: spin, swim, the soft shoulder and the long arm.
“It’s been fun,” he said.
He didn’t expect the MVP honor.
“There was a lot of talent there. There were about 20 players at my position,” he said.
Then the offers came. College coaches are permitted to work with campers, so they got a complete feel for what Akana is like.
“I think they like my size, my length, my potential, my motor,” he said.
Getting three offers on one day — last Sunday — surprised mom.
“She was very emotional. She was crying and stuff. I called her right after. She told me I’ve got to keep working hard and don’t let it get to my head,” Tausili said. “It won’t. I’ve watched my sisters deal with this kind of situation. I’m still young, but I still have a lot to learn.”
He played for Laie Park in the JPS League growing up. Now he’s leaving the district for high school.
“Kamehameha is good. I like it. I’m learning new things up there,” Akana said.
There is one more Akana offspring: Tasi. He is entering kindergarten this fall.