The list grows longer for Roosevelt junior Kaeo Akana by the week.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound defensive end is busy with online classes, daily workouts and consistent communication with college football coaches. On Sunday, Nebraska offered Akana a scholarship. Prior to that, Oregon State made an offer. He now has 10 offers, and Nebraska is the first from the Big Ten Conference.
“It’s a whole different animal. The history they have at Nebraska, their history as a powerhouse is amazing,” Akana said on Sunday night.
Coaches Sean Dillon and Tony Tuioti, the defensive line coach, double-teamed on Akana. Tuioti was once the head coach at Kalaheo before embarking on a college coaching career.
“I talked to both of them. Coach Tony likes my relentless effort and ability to rush the ball,” Akana said. “Nebraska would be cool. Nebraska is nice, but we’ll see.”
Oregon State has a strong history of recruiting island student-athletes. The Beavers are the seventh school from the Pac-12 Conference to offer.
“I talked with Coach Legi (Suiaunoa). I like his energy. He knows what the islands bring,” Akana said.
Akana and dozens of local football players will travel to the PTP College Football Showcase in late October. Other than that, there is high school football in early 2021, postponed due to COVID-19. Every morning at 6:45 a.m., he and his companions, offensive and defensive linemen known as the Trench Dawgz, run miles on the streets in Pauoa Valley. At Booth Park, he was hand-timed at 4.76 in the 40-yard dash last week.
After school, they meet at the Akana house to lift weights.
“We don’t go for a max. We do high reps. It depends on the week. Some weeks we do more reps,” he said.
Akana is not partial to an urban setting in the future, even if that’s what he is used to.
“Anywhere is good. As long as I’m getting a good education and playing football. Cold or hot, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I have to just go with my option, explore the pros and cons of each university. I always want to get the chance to play right away, but we’ll just have to see.”
Akana led Roosevelt with 23.5 sacks as a junior in 2019.
Washington State 5/6/20
Oregon State 9/17/20