Tausili Akana’s name is showing up on recruiters’ whiteboards, but he is simply happy to be playing football.
The Kamehameha sophomore collected his fifth scholarship offer over the weekend. UNLV continued its push for island talent as assistant coach Chad Kauhaahaa made the offer official. Akana now has five offers.
“I’m pretty excited about this offer. They have done a lot to improve their program. They upgraded their facilities and they have a new state-of-the-art stadium. Their coaching staff is awesome,” Akana said. “I have been in contact with Coach Chad Kauhaahaa through my head coach, Steve Coburn, at Wasatch. They (saw) my film and have been following me. The coaching staff really likes my size, athleticism, motor and dedication to the game.”
UNLV already has commitments from Kailua quarterback Cameron Friel and Punahou defensive back Kilinahe Mendiola-Jensen.
“I know the UNLV commits and also the players who have been offered. I played with Kilinahe on 7v7 Pylons under Coach Kawe Johnson on TMF,” Akana noted.
Akana also has offers from Hawaii, Arizona State, BYU and Utah.
With the Hawaii high school football season postponed until, at the earliest, January, Akana relocated temporarily to Utah this fall and is a big part of the defensive unit at Wasatch. The Wasps improved to 3-0 as Akana, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound outside linebacker, provided big plays, including a blocked punt, in a 42-10 win over Viewmont.
Wasatch was ranked No. 19 in Utah by the Deseret News last week. Akana moved to Utah in July and is living with his uncle’s family. Stanton Akana, a former Kamehameha standout, is an assistant coach with the Wasps.
“Wasatch football is doing great. We play Pleasant Grove this Friday. They are 3-0 and ranked fifth in the state of Utah,” Akana said. “Should be a fun game.”
Akana’s older sisters, are off in the world of college athletics. Braelyn Akana plays volleyball at Hawaii. Keonilei Akana is playing in the back row at Nebraska. They, however, are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic while Utah high school football powers on. Protocols are in major effect at practices and game sites. One game was halted because spectators were not following rules. The game was resumed after the issue was corrected.
Akana has the option to return to Kamehameha after the fall semester, but will not be eligible to play football for the Warriors until the 2021-22 season. He is on a mission to get more football exposure, but also misses home.
“I miss my Uncle Gavin (Wong)’s ahi poke. My friends and family,” Akana said. “And jumping off Laie Point.”