Trip swayed Pa‘ama to pick UW over USC

Kaimuki's Evangelist "Sama" Pa‘ama decided to commit to Washington after a visit to the campus swayed him to pick the Huskies over Southern California. Courtesy photo.

Kaimuki defensive lineman Evangelist “Sama” Pa‘ama announced his commitment to the University of Washington on Sunday, giving the Huskies a Division II recruit from Hawaii for the second straight recruiting class.

Pa‘ama made his decision based on his successful recruiting trip there. Prior to that, he had his heart set on Southern California.

Aside from Washington and USC, seven other schools have offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-5, 330-pound Pa‘ama — Arizona, Arizona State, Hawaii, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Virginia.

“After visiting Washington, I saw how the facilities and the academics were and how much of a helpful and family environment I was in,” Pa‘ama said Wednesday via cellphone. “I think it’s the best for me to make a decision now because I know it’s going to be time for scouts to come here in the next few weeks. Now that the 2018 class is done, they’re concentrating on the 2019 guys. I’m focusing on my education now. I’m excited about committing to Washington, but I’m nervous, too.”

Pa‘ama has one year left with the Bulldogs.

“(Washington) is telling me to ball out and play my game,” he said. “Entering the school, they’re comparing my size and speed to Vita Vea.”

Vea starred for the Huskies from 2014 through 2017 and is expected to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft later this month.

Pa’ama’s recruitment was similar to the way the Huskies landed Pearl City defensive end Zion Tupuola-Fetui in their 2018 class.

Tupuola-Fetui was somewhat of an unknown prospect when the Huskies were the first school to offer. Word got around of the Huskies’ newest recruiting target and Tupola-Fetui’s recruitment quickly blew up. After UW made its move, he quickly earned offers from schools including Oregon, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, California and Washington State.

The Huskies were the first school to offer Pa’ama, who plays for Division II Kaimuki. Soon after, he had an offer sheet that included USC, Nebraska, Oregon, Virginia and the Arizona schools.

Pa‘ama is looking forward to his senior high school campaign in the fall, when the Bulldogs will be trying to improve on their 5-4 mark from 2017 that ended with a 7-0 loss to Pearl City in the OIA D-II semifinals.

“We want nothing less than a championship,” he said. “The past few years, we haven’t been able to finish. I’m focusing on being a better leader. Our goal is to take the championship.”


  1. rrforlifebaby April 12, 2018 10:01 am

    Another perfect example of if you’re talented enough, the big schools will find you.

    Congrats Evangelist.


  2. Mahatma Gandhi April 12, 2018 10:43 am

    How did this guy not get recruited by the St Louis? Was his family a recent immigrant arrival from Samoa? I can see someone struggling to decide between Kahuku at the ILH, but not Kaimuki. Don’t but this BS about “education”. It’s about pride, people want to say their boy goes private school. same reason why people fly first class on airplanes. It validates they made it in life. People get off when they go to the lunch wagon and don’t have to pay for their food because they got the GQ good looks. Same thing when OIA parents are offered a free ride at an ILH school.

  3. Dawg for life April 12, 2018 12:34 pm

    To Mahatma Gandhi, Sama and his mom use to live in Palolo Valley and went to Damien for his Middle School then went to Am Samoa to visit ended up staying there his freshmen year played Tafuna HS then came back to stay with his mom and wanted to play at Kaimuki HS under Coach Daniel who is the brother of the head coach at Kaimuki, Coach Daniel was Sama coach when he play big boys football at Nesian of Palolo and he wanted to go back and play for him because he was a good coach, and that was to me a good move for him. Go Bulldawgs.

  4. ILH April 12, 2018 12:53 pm

    Thats why I fly Coach, I keep it humble in these streets. 1 hunnit my bro.

    I dont know what lunch wagon you go to, but fill a homie in so we can go get our grub on for free cuzz we got some honeys and homeys wit dat strong game, ya dig?

    G-H-E-T-T-O Mentality.

    I hope a lot of people think the way you do. That way me and all the other logical, normal thinking people in the GHETTO have more chances for opportunities that we couldnt afford because our daughters and sons are exceptional in academics or sports.

    You can keep your lunch wagon, we going to Cheescake Factory.

  5. ??? April 12, 2018 2:57 pm

    If you Ball-Out and take care of your academics colleges will find you. Private schools are fine but it’s not a requirement to get a scholarship.
    Are you listening Parents? Stop transferring your kids every year…

  6. ILH April 12, 2018 3:21 pm

    Question: How old is Sama? I remember him when he was at Damien. All the kids he was same grade with are graduating this year. Did he repeat when he went to Tafuna?? He was a force back in middle school, a man-child. Excited to see him at the next level.

  7. C-Pop April 12, 2018 6:31 pm

    #2 – Mahatma Ghandi ? What 😂

  8. HawaiiKai April 12, 2018 9:20 pm

    Wait until he visits USC. As great as Washington is, USC is pretty tough to beat.


  9. Danny April 13, 2018 9:04 am

    @ ILH Sama is only 16 years old his a man child for sure, he didn’t skip any grade, his same grade as my son…. humble kid off the field, but beast on field

  10. Too Meke 2 April 21, 2018 10:13 am

    @ Mahatma Gandhi , why are you so jealous and hateful towards STL? Maybe you weren’t good enough and that is why the school didn’t want you. It’s okay man, breathe!

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