The connection between Hawaii and San Diego seems to get shorter over time.
San Diego State became the 12th Division I football program to make a football scholarship offer to Kaeo Akana on Friday. At 6 feet, 3.5 inches and 205 pounds, the defensive end from Roosevelt now has offers from three Mountain West Conference schools, seven Pac-12 schools, and Nebraska and Dartmouth.
The Aztecs hired former Moanalua coach Savaii Eselu last year.
“Coach Savaii and I were talking story at first and he asked me a few questions. ‘How’s everything going?’ There’s no (high school) season, running with the Trench Dawgz, staying active,” Akana said. “He said, ‘San Diego State would like to offer you a scholarship.’ “
The Trench Dawgz, a training group that weight trains, runs and drills together, is led by former Farrington standout Whitley Fehoko.
“Coach Whit went to San Diego State and graduated from there, so that was very exciting,” Akana said. “(Eselu) said I would be a pure pass rusher, a D-end.”
The offers are, in chronological order, from Hawaii, Utah, Washington State, UNLV, Colorado, UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Nebraska, Dartmouth and SDSU.
“They’re all very tempting. I’m just not sure yet. I do like them all,” Akana said.
Fehoko is enthused by the opportunities for Akana.
“I would love for one of my Dawgz to sport a San Diego State jersey. I believe Nebraska and other schools are going to come at him hard,” he said. “Nebraska was my dream school. I watched Toniu Fonoti maul guys, running into the stadium and all the fans going crazy. I wanted that.”
Akana is a junior, which means there will be plenty of time to make a decision.
Akana’s agility and explosiveness off the edge have shown up in videos going back prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. His videos on social media show the life of his Trench Dawgz, from the beach workouts before sunrise to weight lifting to sprinting on the streets of Pauoa Valley.
“The season getting cancelled, that was so different. It’s just weird. We don’t have sports,” he said. “I would hope it’s not done. I would like a season, especially for our senior class of 2021. I would want them to play.”
Kaeo Akana, Roosevelt, DE, 6-3.5, 205
Washington State 5/6/20
Oregon State 9/17/20
San Diego State 1/29/21