Arkansas offered a scholarship to Punahou defensive end Miki Suguturaga this week, Suguturaga said Tuesday night.
Suguturaga, a 6-foot-5 defensive end for the Buffanblu, will begin his senior season this fall.
The offer was made by Arkansas assistant coach Kurt Anderson. Suguturaga said he was thankful for the effort made on his behalf by Keiki Misipeka, the running backs coach and international recruiting coordinator for Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kan., who grew up in American Samoa and played for the University of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Islanders af2 arena football team.
“I am grateful for coach Keiki Misipeka. He was one of the coaches I met at a combine in Seattle two months ago,” Suguturaga said. “I guess he was talking to them (Arkansas staff) about how I was playing and that they really like my film. I’ve been keeping in contact with him (Misipeka) since then. It was good getting to know him and having him help me.”
Suguturaga said he met Misipeka through some Hawaii players the coach was working with at the combine, including Farrington running back Challen Faamatau, former Farrington player CJ Liana and some other Farrington receivers and defensive backs.
After winning ILH titles from 2011 to 2014, Punahou placed second to Saint Louis in 2015. The Buffanblu will be trying to get back on top and make it to the state final for the fifth time in six years.
“We have a lot of returnees this year, a lot of seniors who started as juniors, so it’s a real good thing to have lots of experienced guys,” Suguturaga said. “The underclassmen are working just as hard as most of us upperclassmen and it shows how much depth we have, and that’s a big thing that we have that will hopefully lead to some wins and the championship.”
Division I FBS colleges Washington State, Utah, BYU, Arizona State, Oregon State, Hawaii, UNLV, Army, San Diego State and San Jose State have also offered football scholarships to Suguturaga, along with Division I FCS schools Lafayette and Northern Arizona.
Suguturaga said he will probably make his decision after the season.